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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Peter Tatham, Catherine Ball, Yong Wu and Peter Diplas

While the use of long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft systems (LE-RPAS) is frequently associated with military operations, their core capabilities of long-range…

Abstract

Purpose

While the use of long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft systems (LE-RPAS) is frequently associated with military operations, their core capabilities of long-range, low-cost and high-quality optics and communications systems have considerable potential benefit in supporting the work of humanitarian logisticians. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to demonstrate how LE-RPAS could be used to improve the logistic response to a rapid onset disaster.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the response to the Cyclone Pam that struck Vanuatu in March 2015 as an example, this paper provides an overview of how LE-RPAS could be used to support the post-disaster needs assessment and subsequent response processes. In addition, it provides a high-level route map to develop the people, process and technology requirements that would support the operational deployment of the LE-RPAS capabilities.

Findings

On the basis of the analysis of the published literature and the resultant assessment of the benefits of LE-RPAS to support humanitarian logistic (HL) operations, it is concluded that a formal “proof of concept” trial should be undertaken, and the results be made available to the humanitarian community.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is conceptual in nature, but has been developed through an analysis of the literature relating to remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) and HLs. A route map through which the paper’s conclusions can be validated is also offered.

Practical implications

LE-RPAS have great potential to provide a swifter understanding of the impact of a disaster, particularly those where the location is remote from the main centres of population. This would allow the affected country’s National Disaster Management Organisation, together with those of supporting countries, to react more efficiently and effectively. In particular, it would allow a swifter transition from a “guess-based” push approach to one that more accurately reflects the disaster’s impact – i.e. a pull-based logistic response.

Social implications

Given the military genesis of RPAS, it will be important to ensure that those engaged in their operation are sensitive to the implications of this. In particular, it will be essential to ensure that any humanitarian operations involving RPAS are undertaken in an ethical way that respects, for example, the privacy and safety of the affected population.

Originality/value

While there is some emerging discussion on the humanitarian-related use of RPAS in the literature, this generally reflects the operation of small aircraft with limited range and payload capabilities. Useful though such RPAS unquestionably are, this paper expands the discussion of how such systems can support the humanitarian logistician by considering the benefits and challenges of operating long-endurance aircraft.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Peter Tatham, Frank Stadler, Abigail Murray and Ramon Z. Shaban

Whilst there is a growing body of research which discusses the use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) (otherwise known as “drones”) to transport medical supplies…

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Abstract

Purpose

Whilst there is a growing body of research which discusses the use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) (otherwise known as “drones”) to transport medical supplies, almost all reported cases employ short range aircraft. The purpose of this paper is to consider the advantages and challenges inherent in the use of long endurance remotely piloted aircraft systems (LE-RPAS) aircraft to support the provision of medical supplies to remote locations – specifically “medical maggots” used in maggot debridement therapy (MDT) wound care.

Design/methodology/approach

After introducing both MDT and the LE-RPAS technology, the paper first reports on the outcomes of a case study involving 11 semi-structured interviews with individuals who either have experience and expertise in the use of LE-RPAS or in the provision of healthcare to remote communities in Western Australia. The insights gained from this case study are then synthesised to assess the feasibility of LE-RPAS assisted delivery of medical maggots to those living in such geographically challenging locations.

Findings

No insuperable challenges to the concept of using LE-RPAS to transport medical maggots were uncovered during this research – rather, those who contributed to the investigations from across the spectrum from operators to users, were highly supportive of the overall concept.

Practical implications

The paper offers an assessment of the feasibility of the use of LE-RPAS to transport medical maggots. In doing so, it highlights a number of infrastructure and organisational challenges that would need to be overcome to operationalise this concept. Whilst the particular context of the paper relates to the provision of medical support to a remote location of a developed country, the core benefits and challenges that are exposed relate equally to the use of LE-RPAS in a post-disaster response. To this end, the paper offers a high-level route map to support the implementation of the concept.

Social implications

The paper proposes a novel approach to the efficient and effective provision of medical care to remote Australian communities which, in particular, reduces the need to travel significant distances to obtain treatment. In doing so, it emphasises the importance in gaining acceptance of both the use of MDT and also the operation of RPAS noting that these have previously been employed in a military, as distinct from humanitarian, context.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates how the use of LE-RPAS to support remote communities offers the potential to deliver healthcare at reduced cost compared to conventional approaches. The paper also underlines the potential benefits of the use of MDT to address the growing wound burdens in remote communities. Finally, the paper expands on the existing discussion of the use of RPAS to include its capability to act as the delivery mechanism for medical maggots.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2018

Mariusz Krawczyk, Cezary Jerzy Szczepanski and Albert Zajdel

This paper aims to present a concept of an automatic directional control system of remotely piloted aerial system (RPAS) during the taxiing phase. In particular, it shows…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a concept of an automatic directional control system of remotely piloted aerial system (RPAS) during the taxiing phase. In particular, it shows the initial stages of the control laws synthesis – mathematical model and simulation of taxiing aircraft. Several reasons have emerged in recent years that make the automation of taxiing an important design challenge including decreased safety, performance and pilot workload.

Design/methodology/approach

The adapted methodology follows the model-based design approach in which the control system and the aircraft are mathematically modelled to allow control laws synthesis. The computer simulations are carried out to analyse the model behaviour.

Findings

Chosen methodology and modelling technique, especially tire-ground contact model, resulted in a taxing aircraft model that can be used for directional control law synthesis. Aerodynamic forces and moments were identified in the wind tunnel tests for the full range of the slip angle. Simulations allowed to compute the critical speeds for different taxiway conditions in a 90° turn.

Practical implications

The results can be used for the taxi directional control law synthesis and simulation of the control system. The computed critical speeds can be treated as safety limits.

Originality/value

The taxi directional control system has not been introduced to the RPAS yet. Therefore, the model of taxiing aircraft including aerodynamic characteristics for the full range of the slip angle has a big value in the process of design and implementation of the future auto taxi systems. Moreover, computed speed safety limits can be used by designers and standard creators.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 91 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2018

Mariusz Krawczyk, Cezary Jerzy Szczepanski and Albert Zajdel

This paper aims to present a concept of an automatic directional control system of remotely piloted aerial system (RPAS) during the taxiing phase. In particular, it shows…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a concept of an automatic directional control system of remotely piloted aerial system (RPAS) during the taxiing phase. In particular, it shows the initial stages of the control laws synthesis-mathematical model and simulation of taxiing aircraft. Several reasons have emerged in recent years that make the automation of taxiing an important design challenge including decreased safety, performance and pilot workload.

Design/methodology/approach

The adapted methodology follows the model-based design approach in which the control system and the aircraft are mathematically modelled to allow control laws synthesis. The computer simulations are carried out to analyse the model behaviour.

Findings

Chosen methodology and modelling technique, especially tire-ground contact model, resulted in a taxiing aircraft model that can be used for directional control law synthesis. Aerodynamic forces and moments were identified in the wind tunnel tests for the full range of the slip angle. Simulations allowed to compute the critical speeds for different taxiway conditions in a 90° turn.

Practical implications

The results can be used for the taxi directional control law synthesis and simulation of the control system. The computed critical speeds can be treated as a safety limits.

Originality/value

The taxi directional control system has not been introduced to the RPAS yet. Therefore, the model of taxiing aircraft including aerodynamic characteristics for the full range of the slip angle has a big value in the process of design and implementation of the future auto taxi systems. Moreover, computed speed safety limits can be used by designers and standards creators.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 91 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

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Article
Publication date: 18 December 2018

Roberta Fusaro, Nicole Viola, Sara Cresto Aleina and Giovanni Antonio Di Meo

This paper aims to suggest feasible solutions to overcome the problem of unmanned aerial vehicles integration within the existing airspace.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to suggest feasible solutions to overcome the problem of unmanned aerial vehicles integration within the existing airspace.

Design/methodology/approach

It envisages innovative time-based separation procedures that will enhance the integration in the future air traffic management (ATM) system of next generation of large remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS). 4D navigation and dynamic mobile area concepts, both proposed in the framework of Single European Sky ATM Research program, are brought together to hypothesize innovative time-based separation procedures aiming at promoting integration of RPAS in the future ATM system.

Findings

Benefits of proposed procedures, mainly evaluated in terms of volume reduction of segregated airspace, are quantitatively analyzed on the basis of realistic operational scenarios focusing on monitoring activities in both nominal and emergency conditions. Eventually, the major limits of time-based separation for RPAS are investigated.

Practical implications

The implementation of the envisaged procedures will be a key enabler in RPAS integration in future ATM integration.

Originality/value

In the current ATM scenario, separation of RPAS from air traffic is ensured by segregating a large amount of airspace areas with fixed dimensions, dramatically limiting the activities of these vehicles.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 91 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2018

Piotr Grzybowski, Maciej Klimczuk and Pawel Rzucidlo

This paper aims to describe the idea behind and design of a miniaturized distributed measurement system based on a controller area network (CAN) data bus.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe the idea behind and design of a miniaturized distributed measurement system based on a controller area network (CAN) data bus.

Design/methodology/approach

The intention of the designers was to build a light and modular measurement system which can be used in remotely piloted aircraft systems and ultra-light aircraft during flight tests, as well as normal operation. The structure of this distributed measurement system is based on a CAN data bus. The CAN aerospace standard has been applied to the software as well as the hardware comprising this system. PRP-W2 software designed for PCs is an additional component of the proposed measurement system. This software supports data acquisition from a recorder unit and allows for preliminary data analysis, as well as data conversion and presentation.

Findings

The system, complete with a high-speed data recorder, was successfully installed on board of an MP-02 Czajka aircraft. A research experiment using the system and oriented on airframe high frequency vibration analysis is presented in the final part of this paper.

Research limitations/implications

This measurement system allows analysis of high-frequency vibrations occurring at selected points of the aircraft. A data set is recorded by three-axis accelerometers and gyroscopes at frequencies up to 1 kHz.

Practical implications

The use of a miniature and lightweight modular measurement system will, in many cases, be faster and less expensive than full-scale measurement and data acquisition systems, which often require a lengthy assembly process. The implementation of this class of lightweight flight test systems has many advantages, in particular to the operation of small aircraft. Such solutions are likely to become increasingly common in unmanned aerial vehicles and in other light aircraft in the future.

Originality/value

The adaptation of a distributed measuring system with a high frequency of measurements for purposes of small and miniature aircraft.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 90 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

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Article
Publication date: 26 February 2020

Javier A. Pérez-Castán, Fernando Gómez Comendador, Álvaro Rodríguez-Sanz, Rosa M. Arnaldo Valdés and Jose Felix Alonso-Alarcon

This paper aims to assess the implications in safety levels by the integration of remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS). The goal is to calculate the number of RPAS that…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the implications in safety levels by the integration of remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS). The goal is to calculate the number of RPAS that can jointly operate with conventional aircraft regarding conflict risk, without exceeding current safety levels.

Design/methodology/approach

This approach benchmarks a calculated level of safety (CLS) with a target level of safety (TLS). Monte Carlo (MC) simulations quantify the TLS based on the current operation of conventional aircraft. Then, different experiments calculate the CLS associated with combinations of conventional aircraft and RPAS. MC simulations are performed based on probabilistic distributions of aircraft performances, entry times and geographical distribution. The safety levels are based on a conflict risk model because the safety metrics are the average number of conflicts and average conflict duration.

Findings

The results provide restrictions to the number of RPAS that can jointly operate with conventional aircraft. The TLS is quantified for four conventional aircraft. MC simulations confirm that the integration of RPAS demands a reduction in the total number of aircraft. The same number of RPAS than conventional aircraft shows an increase over 90% average number of conflicts and 300% average conflict time.

Research limitations/implications

The methodology is applied to one flight level of en-route airspace without considering climbing or descending aircraft.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the most advanced investigations performed to quantify the number of RPAS that can be safely integrated into non-segregated airspace, which is one of the challenges for the forthcoming integration of RPAS. Particularly, Europe draws to allow operating RPAS and conventional aircraft in non-segregated airspace by 2025, but this demanding perspective entails a thorough analysis of operational and safety aspects involved.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 92 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2018

Javier A. Pérez-Castán, Fernando Gómez Comendador, Álvaro Rodríguez-Sanz, Rosa M. Arnaldo Valdés and Jaime Torrecilla

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the development of conflict-resolution algorithms between Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) and conventional aircraft. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the development of conflict-resolution algorithms between Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) and conventional aircraft. The goal of the conflict-resolution algorithm is to estimate the minimum protection distance (MPD) which is required to avoid a potential conflict.

Design/methodology/approach

The conflict-resolution algorithms calculate the last location at which an RPAS must start climbing to avoid a separation minima infringement. The RPAS maneuvers to prevent the conventional aircraft based on the kinematic equations. The approach selects two parameters to model the conflict-geometry: the path-intersection angle and the Rate of Climb (ROCD).

Findings

Results confirmed that the aircraft pair flying in opposition was the worst scenario because the MPD reached its maximum value. The best value of the MPD is about 12 Nautical Miles to ensure a safe resolution of a potential conflict. Besides, variations of the ROCD concluded that the relation between the ROCD and the MPD is not proportional.

Research limitations/implications

The primary limitation is that the conflict-resolution algorithms are designed in a theoretical framework without bearing in mind other factors such as communications, navigation capacity, wind and pilot errors among others. Further work should introduce these concepts to determine how the MPD varies and affects air traffic safety. Moreover, the relation between an ROCD requirement and the MPD will have an impact on regulations.

Practical implications

The non-linear relation between the MPD and the ROCD could be the pillar to define a standardized MPD in the future for RPAS systematic integration. To accomplish this standard, RPAS could have to fulfil a requirement of minimum ROCD until a specified flight level.

Originality/value

This paper is the first approach to quantify the Minimum Protection Distance between RPAS and conventional aircraft, and it can serve the aeronautical community to define new navigation requirements for RPAS.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 91 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2020

Daniel Lichoń

This work presents the part of the research in the integration of the remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in non-segregated airspace. The purpose of this study is to…

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Abstract

Purpose

This work presents the part of the research in the integration of the remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in non-segregated airspace. The purpose of this study is to elaborate the reference shape of the Standard Instrument Arrivals (STARs) procedures of controlled airports. The STARs parameters are unique for the aerodromes and depend on navigational aids (NAVAIDs), manoeuvres and aircraft categories. Therefore, the elaboration of reference shapes was advisable in the context of RPAS integration research.

Design/methodology/approach

The models were based on the procedure design guidelines by International Civil Aviation Organization. The statistics of existing STARs were prepared using Aeronautical Information Publications to determine the representative procedural parameters. Construction of procedural shapes required to define the nominal flight path and tolerance areas.

Findings

In statistics, the standard deviation of distances was below the determined reference mean values, thus the models were convergent with existing procedures.

Research limitations/implications

The modelling was limited to initial, intermediate, final and missed approach segments. Arrival segment was not modelled. NAVAIDs include Instrument Landing System Category 1 (in final and missed approach) and very high-frequency omni-directional ranging or global navigation satellite systems (in initial and intermediate approach segments).

Practical implications

Prepared models may be used in research in the integration of the new types of aerial vehicles in existing air traffic management systems.

Originality/value

The reference STARs possess commonly used procedural manoeuvres (straight-in, turn, racetrack and base turn) and different NAVAIDs. The parameters of approach segments were determined as representative of the existing procedures. Moreover, the models are suitable to place at arbitrary origin and runway axis bearing.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 92 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2019

Hamed Golizadeh, M. Reza Hosseini, David John Edwards, Sepehr Abrishami, Nasrin Taghavi and Saeed Banihashemi

Extant literature extensively articulates the advantages of using remotely piloted aircrafts (RPAs) in a myriad of construction activities. Yet, the barriers that hinder…

Abstract

Purpose

Extant literature extensively articulates the advantages of using remotely piloted aircrafts (RPAs) in a myriad of construction activities. Yet, the barriers that hinder their wider adoption on construction projects have received scant academic attention. This study aims at addressing this gap in the literature.

Design/methodology/approach

This study reviews 59 papers published on the use of RPAs for construction activities and offers an evaluation of barriers to widespread adoption throughout the sector.

Findings

Barriers are identified, collated and categorized into five thematic groups, namely, technical difficulties, restrictive regulatory environment, site-related problems, weather and organizational barriers.

Practical implications

The paper contributes to knowledge by: signposting a need for reordering priorities when defining future research on RPAs, suggesting measures to address the barriers identified and providing pragmatic guidance for construction companies intending to use RPAs on their projects.

Originality/value

Using the task–technology fit theory, the study uncovers that current RPA technology is an under-fit match for construction activities and represents a prominent barrier to adoption. This is a dissenting finding, given that past studies on RPAs have primarily focused upon addressing public acceptance, concerns and societal consequences. Enablers of the identified barriers are also collated from extant literature and contemporary practice and encapsulated in a conceptual model.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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