Bridging the Gap Between Manned and Unmanned
Chief Software Engineer, Callen-Lenz Associates Ltd
The last few years have seen rapid growth in the civil market for Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs). Callen-Lenz has been at the forefront of both UAV operations, including Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), and the development of reliable flight control systems through our subsidiary, SkyCircuits Ltd.
Commercial UAVs offer high levels of functionality at low cost, but most have been designed to consumer standards that do not address issues such as reliability, system redundancy or design integrity within their flight control system designs.
If UAVs are going to be routinely used for operations in non-segregated airspace under BVLOS conditions, they will need to demonstrate a comparable level of safety to manned aircraft; this is to ensure safe autonomous operations that can be relied upon to provide separation from other airspace users (manned and unmanned).
Key to this safe and reliable operation will be the flight control system used to command and control the UAV, which will itself depend on software that will need to be developed to relevant aerospace standards.
Callen-Lenz also see potential for cross-fertilisation between the manned and unmanned domains. For example, imagine a manned aircraft that is as easy to fly as a drone, and can even operate autonomously.
This session will present how Callen-Lenz is developing a family of autopilots designed to meet the objectives of DO-178C/ED-12C up to and including Level A. These will underpin safe reliable UAV operations in BVLOS conditions, but also have the appropriate safety and functionality to support manned flight in both conventional aircraft and in emerging domains such as personal air vehicles.