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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Non-Parametric, Closed-Loop Testing of Autonomy in Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Non-Parametric, Closed-Loop Testing of Autonomy in Unmanned Aircraft Systems
The proposed Phase II program aims to develop new methods to support safety testing for integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems into the National Airspace (NAS) with a particular focus on testing the collision avoidance (CA) algorithms of a UAS Sense-and-Avoid (SAA) system. This research addresses the fundamental difficulty of verifying the performance of autonomous systems that dynamically react to the environment. In particular, this research program would develop novel methods for conducting non-parametric, closed-loop simulation testing of collision avoidance algorithms as well as other autonomous operations. The technology generates a campaign of simulation experiments that automatically adapt to the algorithms in question. The purpose of this innovation is to expose potential vulnerabilities in UAS autonomy that are generated through the interaction of autonomous UAS algorithms with other agents such as an intruding aircraft operating under ``right of way rules". This work augments both the probabilistic open-loop testing methods, where agents do not react, and closed-loop testing where agent behavior is fixed a priori. More »

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