Optimal Trajectory and En-Route Contingency Planning for Urban Air Mobility Considering Battery Energy Levels
Justin, Cedric Y.
Mavris, Dimitri N.
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Urban Air Mobility (UAM) is an electric propelled, vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft envisioned for transporting passengers and goods within metropolitan areas. Planning UAM flights will not be easy as unexpected wind turbulence from high-altitude structures may impact the vehicles operating at a low altitude. Furthermore, considering the short travel time of the UAM, smart and safe decision-making will be challenging, particularly in off-nominal situations that force the aircraft to divert to an alternate destination instead of landing at the initially planned destination. To overcome these challenges, this research proposes automated pre-flight and in-flight contingency planning systems to assist in both normal and irregular UAM operations. A planner in the pre-flight planning system optimizes an aerial trajectory between the scheduled origin and destination, avoiding restricted high-level structures and estimating energy levels. In the contingency planning system, an in-flight replanner produces several optimal trajectories from where the diversion is declared to each alternate destination candidate. A diversion decision-making tool then scores a list of candidates and selects the best site for diversion. Real-world operational scenarios in the city of Miami are presented to demonstrate the capability of the proposed framework.