Enabling operations of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in low-altitude airspace, As widespread applications emerge, the need of risk assessment becomes increasingly important for UAV flights beyond visual line-of-sight, especially subjected to off-nominal conditions introduced by component failures, degraded controllability or environmental disturbances such as wind gusts in an urban canyon. From a safety perspective, collision with obstacles can be detrimental not only to the vehicle and payload, but also to the structure and people on ground. Although it is safe to assume that approved UAVs would be equipped with collision avoidance systems, . In this paper, a framework is presented for computing the risk of collision with obstacle based on a UAV's predicted trajectory, . The conditional probability of trajectory deviation is generated using a Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) based on on-board sensor measurements. Further, a kinematic 3-DOF model is implemented to compute deviation in UAV's trajectory subjected to one case study of off-nominal condition i.e. wind gusts. Finally, the integrated risk factor is demonstrated on real data from experimental flights of an octocopter at NASA Langley Research Center, in presence of simulated obstacles and wind conditions. The proposed approach would enable risk-informed decision making process for timely mitigation of current and future unsafe events.
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Risk Assessment, Unmanned Aviation, Bayesian Belief Network, Decision-making, System Health Monitoring
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