An Assessment of Unmanned Aircraft System Operations with the Extensible Trajectory Optimization Library

Olatunde B. Sanni, Thanakorn Khamvilai, Teppatat Puntawuttiwong, E. Feron

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


In the not too distant future, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) will be a source of economic power in urban environments. These systems will be used for package delivery, building inspections, filming, and many other tasks. However, economic benefits should not outweigh public safety. These systems must not collide into buildings, and they must maintain a safe separation distance from neighboring systems. In other words, UAS operations should be assessed for safety. This paper assesses how safety requirements in the urban environment influence UAS operations. It presents a novel way of performing this assessment by using the Extensible Trajectory Optimization Library (ETOL) to continuously solve a vehicle guidance problem (VGP) in a multi-agent robot simulator. This paper introduces the common structure of a VGP, along with a VGP formulation for a UAS in an urban environment. In addition, a platform for safety assessments is presented, along with recommendations for improving the safety of UAS operations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2021 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
ISBN (Print)9781624106095
StatePublished - Jan 11 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-02-01
Acknowledgements: For the CFD result, this research used the resources of the Supercomputing Laboratory at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia as well as the financial support from the KAUST baseline fund and the visiting student research program. The authors thank the engineers in the Aerospace, Transportation & Advanced Systems Laboratory at Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) for answering our SCRIMMAGE-related questions. The authors also thank Dr. Brian German, who is the director of the Center for Urban and Regional Air Mobility (CURAM), and his graduate students for vigorous discussions about trajectory optimization and urban air mobility (UAM) operations.


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