SCIENTIA SINICA Informationis, Volume 49 , Issue 5 : 520-537(2019) https://doi.org/10.1360/N112018-00318

UAV sense and avoidance: concepts, technologies, and systems

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  • ReceivedNov 30, 2018
  • AcceptedFeb 28, 2019
  • PublishedMay 15, 2019


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  • Figure 1

    (Color online) SAA function flow

  • Figure 2

    UAV SAA environment sensing technology

  • Figure 3

    (Color online) The hierarchical SAA paradigm for large & middle size UAV

  • Figure 4

    (Color online) The reactive SAA paradigm for small & micro size UAV

  • Table 1   UAV SAA sensor configuration
    Platform T-CAS ADS-B Ground radar Airborne radar Lidar Man eye EO IR IRST Ultra-Sonic Stereo MWR
    HALE √* √* √*
    MALE √* √* √*
    TUAV √*
    SUAV √*
    MAV √* √*

    a) represents the sensor applicable to the UAV; * represents the sensors that should be mounted according to the policies and regulations in the future application of UAV.

  • Table 2   Global path planning & reactive collision avoidance
    Global path planning Reactive collision avoidance
    Platform HALE & MALE UAV Small & micro UAV
    Operation space Sparse mid-air scenario Complex low-altitude scenario
    Sensing information Global, wide range target status Local, limited range target measurements
    Control output Global way-points Local control command
    Sensing & control Almost decoupled Coupled
    Loop frequency Low High
  • Table 3   Large & middle size UAV safety capacity level
    Safety level Description
    0 Does not have any security assurance capability and technical means
    Local flight safety support under specific mission functions include:
    (a) limited perceptionability and partial communication ability in VMC environment;
    (b) decision rules and operation methodsin simple task environment;
    (c) and simple flight control operation method and command realization.
    Wide range and long endurance flight safety support in a simple and sparse flightenvironment:
    (a) wide range sensing and multi-link communication capabilities in a VMC condition;
    (b) situation assessment and decision making in a wide range of mission environments;
    (c) and fully controllable task execution.
    Safety flight insurance in complex meteorological conditions and flight environment:
    (a) perception ability and communication link under VMC and IMC;
    (b) environmental situation analysis and fault diagnosis under complex flight conditions;
    (c) and controllable task instruction execution under man's supervision function.
    All-weather flight safety support under complex air traffic control system:
    (a) large-scale perception and cooperative air traffic information under VMC and IMC;
    (b) multi-information support for flight situation analysis and platform health management functions;
    (c) and access to ATC system, complete flight status acquisition and flight command execution.
    Equivalent safe flight in shared airspace with man-machine:
    (a) large-scale perception andhighly reliable information interaction under VMC and IMC;
    (b) highly reliable situationanalysis and decision-making punder the support of multiple information
    sources (more thanpeople in the loop);
    (c) and seamless access to the ATM (air traffic management) system to achieve the mission flight
    under the ATCoperating rules.
  • Table 4   Small & micro UAV safety capacity level
    Safety level Description
    0 Visual line of sight flight with man in the loop remote control (100% man in the loop).
    Partial perception and auxiliary control functions:
    (a) auxiliary navigation andenvironment perception in sparse environment;
    (b) low level auxiliary judgment and warning ability;
    (c) and people in the loop control, with auxiliary functions of the automatic driving system.
    Man in the loop decision making (partial man in the loop):
    (a) auxiliary navigation, environment and target modeling in dense environment;
    (b) auxiliary decision-making function and safety warning ability;
    (c) man in the loop path planning and maneuver control.
    Automatic mission execution with man in the loop supervision:
    (a) reliable navigation and data processing in the task environment;
    (b) supervised online data analysis and decision-making function;
    (c) online path planning and control.
    Autonomous task execution:
    (a) intelligent information processing and environmental perception;
    (b) autonomous analysis and decision-making function;
    (c) optimal online path planning and maneuver control.
    Collaborative task execution ability with multiple platforms:
    (a) multi-platform collaborative perceptionand data analysis;
    (b) collaborative situational awareness and decision-making;
    (c) distributed multi-platform path planning and control.