NASA Berkeley Aviation Data Science Seminar: Autonomy and Safety for Urban Air Mobility (UAM)


March 4, 2020
11:00am to 12:00pm
106 Stanley Hall, UC Berkeley

Abstract: Urban Air Mobility (UAM) can only be achieved at scale when emerging eVTOL operations are safe despite reduced pilot training requirements. Increased autonomy and access to new data pipelines are viewed as foundations to enable safe UAM operations. Traditional sensor data can be augmented with new cloud resources such as roadmaps and geographical information system (GIS) Lidar/video to offer emerging unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and UAM operations a new level of situational awareness. This presentation will introduce challenges in UAM and summarize my group's research to identify, process, and utilize new data sources during nominal and emergency flight planning. Specific efforts have utilized machine learning to automatically map urban emergency landing sites, trade in-flight and landing site risks as needed, and incorporate cell phone data into an occupancy map. Research in flight safety assessment and management (FSAM) will be summarized; this work offers potential for improved resilience and increased verification for autonomous aircraft flight management. The presentation will end with videos illustrating recent small UAS flight testing in the University of Michigan's new M-Air netted flight facility.

Watch this seminar via livestream. Note that this speaker will be presenting at NASA Ames and livestreamed in the seminar room at Berkeley. Full details will be posted on the series website.

The NASA Berkeley Aviation Data Science Seminar Series was launched in spring 2020 and is held weekly on Wednesdays in Stanley 106, at 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM, from January 22 through May 6. Presenters include experts in government, industry, and academia, who focus on how big data collection and machine learning are transforming aircraft, airspace, and airport operations, with topics ranging from feedback control, IoT, and IoV to autonomy, AI, and data security. All seminars are livecast and interactive across both campuses. The series is also being offered as a 1-credit course: the Berkeley course numbers are CEE198/CEE298 (class #: 33393) and CP298 (class #: 13328). This seminar series is hosted by NASA and UC Berkeley, sponsored by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and NASA Academic Mission Services; and presented by UC Berkeley's Urban Air Mobility Research Center (UAM@Berkeley), the Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies, and BIDS.



Ella Atkins

Professor, Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan

Ella Atkins is a Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan, where she directs the Autonomous Aerospace Systems Lab and is Associate Director of Graduate Programs for the Robotics Institute. Dr. Atkins holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan. She is Editor-in-Chief of the AIAA Journal of Information Systems (JAIS) and has served on the National Academy's Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, the Institute for Defense Analysis Defense Science Studies Group, and multiple National Academy study committees. She pursues research in Aerospace system autonomy and safety.