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Fault-Tolerant Flight Guidance System for UAS Enabling Full U-space Integration

AIAA 2022-1146
Session: UAS GNC V
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This contribution presents a flight guidance system for an unmanned aerial system which targets a full integration into U-space services, not only currently defined but also having future higher-level U-space services in mind. A dedicated situation awareness module in the flight guidance system with a specific interface to a UTM system in a U-space allows for full integration into U-spaces. Additionally, the components of the flight guidance system are embedded into a fault-tolerant architecture which enables the aircraft to remain in a safe state even in the event of errors in the automatic flight guidance system. We consider errors in the software and hardware components of the flight guidance system as well as failures in the aircraft’s actuators or the propulsion system. As a result of failures of the actuators, flight mechanics constraints can change. The fault-tolerant architecture provides a method to take these varying constraints into account in all components of the flight guidance system. Also, the architecture is defined generically so that existing implementations of the flight guidance system can be integrated into it. Using this fault-tolerant architecture the safety of the system in case of errors can be increased. For all detectable errors countermeasures are provided which guarantee that the aircraft remains in a safe state. Even in case of errors in which the full functionality of the system cannot be restored by the functions of the fault-tolerant architecture, fallback solutions are available to ensure the safety of the system. Using the presented fault-tolerant architecture as well as the dedicated situation awareness module in the flight guidance system, safe integration of the unmanned aerial system into the airspace can be assured.