Heading Towards Autonomous Cargo Transportation with Drones
Popular projects of Amazon, DHL, UPS, Boeing and recently formed knowledge centers in the context of unmanned cargo aircraft show the increasing interest in unmanned airborne transportation. Moving forward with new concepts, DLR (German Aerospace Center) has conducted a four year research project between 2016 and 2019 on cargo drones with up to a one metric ton payload capacity. This project took advantage of a newly established operational risk approach introducing a new perspective on regulating the safety of unmanned aviation. The Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) first determines the risk that the drone poses to its environment and then defines the certification process, requirements on the manufacturer, and the operator to ensure safe operation. The ALAADy project assumed two core operational limits to reduce the operational risk: flight in very low level altitudes below common air traffic and only over sparsely populated areas. At the same time, we have challenged the limits of the SORA based approach on the other side of the risk scale with heavy aircraft.
Many aspects of this concept have been investigated during the last few years including aircraft configurations, technological realization, safe operation, and airspace integration. Additionally, we analyzed how such an unmanned aircraft could prevail in the current economic landscape and possible use-cases. To study and validate these concepts, virtual simulations including the aircraft system and air traffic simulations were applied. The concepts were matured enough to enable the design, build, and test of one of the largest drone prototypes used for transportation which is based on an ultralight gyrocopter.
The symposium presents the results of the project to a broader audience, including interested professionals as well as experts. It offers a set of presentations and intends to inspire with direct contact to the specialists of the different fields during poster presentations and exhibits of technology demonstrators. It also serves as a forum for critical discussions and future cooperation. Bringing experts and interested parties together on the emerging technology of drone based transportation is an opportunity to move the ideas further.
Participation is free of charge; please feel free to distribute this invitation to interested colleagues. Registration ends October 21st: http://smodell.besl-eventservice.de/EoA0zVEqMMPH/index.php
Lilienthalhaus, Lilienthalplatz 1, 38108 Braunschweig, Germany
Points of Contact:
+49 531 295 3262
Dr.-Ing. Sven Lorenz
+49 531 295 2687
Poster presentations and exhibits:
Welcome and project overview
Specific operations risk assessment for cargo drones
Aircraft configuration and scaled configuration demonstrator
Large cargo UAS: Airspace integration, airport integration and ground control station concepts
Drones in humanitarian transportation – flight operation pilot in the Dominican Republic
Flight testing of the ALAADy technology demonstrator
Wrap-up and discussion of open questions
• The vision
• The technology demonstrator