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UAV Navigation defines operational envelope for VECTOR-600 autopilot

October 27, 2022  - By

An independent study conducted by UAV Navigation has defined the operational envelope of the VECTOR-600 autopilot based on the Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) methodology. The operational envelope defines the operational risk profile within which an aircraft can operate safely, taking into consideration all risk mitigations included within the system.

The SORA methodology evaluates the safety risks involved with the operation of an unmanned aerial system (UAS) of any class, size or type of operation. The concept of operation (ConOps) is normally used as the input for this analysis; the output takes the form of the Specific Assurance and Integrity Level (SAIL) for a particular operation, which indicates the level of robustness that must be demonstrated for the operational safety objectives.

In this case, instead of performing a conventional SORA analysis from the ConOps to the SAIL output, this study was performed the other way around because the objective of the study was to identify the operational envelope of the sytem.

EUROCAE ED-280, the guidelines for UAS safety and analysis for specific categories of low and medium levels of robustness, recommends to any operator a detailed definition of different mission and platform points: the ConOps, the entire UAS architecture including functions, systems, and implementation, identification and classification of failure conditions; verification that safety objectives are fulfilled and a complete probable failure analysis using FMEA-like techniques and Fault Tree Analysis (FTA).

UAV Navigation prepared an FMECA and FTA analysis performed by a third-party and independent company on the VECTOR-600 autopilot and its onboard sensor suite, the POLAR-300. The study concluded that within the operational envelope of the VECTOR-600, any failure – however remote the probability – is highly unlikely to result in a catastrophic outcome, such as the loss of the aircraft. The conclusions reached indicate that the system is perfectly suited for VLOS/BVLOS operations – including appropriate restrictions where applicable. The system has proved its robustness and suitability for safe operations over a wide range of missions usually performed by professional UAS.

The analysis is available on request to all clients interested. Contact UAV Navigation for more information.

Photo: UAV Navigation

Photo: UAV Navigation

About the Author:


Marie Emerick is the digital media specialist for GPS World magazine.

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