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Accession Number N20120014264
Title Briefing on Metrics and Risks for Autonomous Decision-Making in Aerospace Applications.
Publication Date Jun 2012
Media Count 13p
Personal Author J. R. Galvan K. F. Goebel S. Frost
Abstract Significant technology advances will enable future aerospace systems to safely and reliably make decisions autonomously, or without human interaction. The decision-making may result in actions that enable an aircraft or spacecraft in an off-nominal state or with slightly degraded components to achieve mission performance and safety goals while reducing or avoiding damage to the aircraft or spacecraft. Some key technology enablers for autonomous decision-making include: a continuous state awareness through the maturation of the prognostics health management field, novel sensor development, and the considerable gains made in computation power and data processing bandwidth versus system size. Sophisticated algorithms and physics based models coupled with these technological advances allow reliable assessment of a system, subsystem, or components. Decisions that balance mission objectives and constraints with remaining useful life predictions can be made autonomously to maintain safety requirements, optimal performance, and ensure mission objectives. This autonomous approach to decision-making will come with new risks and benefits, some of which will be examined in this paper. To start, an account of previous work to categorize or quantify autonomy in aerospace systems will be presented. In addition, a survey of perceived risks in autonomous decision-making in the context of piloted aircraft and remotely piloted or completely autonomous unmanned autonomous systems (UAS) will be presented based on interviews that were conducted with individuals from industry, academia, and government.
Keywords Aerospace engineering
Aerospace safety
Aerospace systems
Decision making
Mission planning
Pilotless aircraft
Risk assessment
Situational awareness
Systems health monitoring

Source Agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NTIS Subject Category 51B - Aeronautics
84 - Space Technology
Corporate Author National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Moffett Field, CA. Ames Research Center.
Document Type Conference proceedings
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1308
Contract Number NNA08CG83C

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