Safety Modelling of UAV Operations from the Operator/User View

Safety Modelling of UAV Operations from the Operator/User View

Introduction to the subject

In the world of high risk technology, safety becomes more and more important for human societies. Smart, autonomous and powerful products are operating beyond the boundaries of a specific system. Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (UAVs) are example products used in a wide range of applications. Ensuring safety of these complex products or systems are among the challenges of 21 Century. Recent warning of Stephen Hawking about the future of artificial intelligence clearly reflects this societal concern when he says “Artificial intelligence could be the worst thing to happen to humanity”.

From another perspective, the advantages of new technologies are being proven to society by offering new services. Think of services that UAVs may provide to society. Think of for example aerial surveys, inspections, monitoring and transportations. UAVs adapt some degrees of smartness and intelligence, and they are becoming a part of our everyday life. Utilities are obvious, yet there remains a question to be answered is: “how do they influence our safety?”

The motivation behind this research is an active reaction to this societal challenge on system safety. Exploring the currently utilized design methods and frameworks, safety is often treated as a system/ product attribute. This results in developing a product which has to be safe enough to be accepted by the society. However, safety goes beyond a system attribute and beyond a certain domain or discipline. It requires a shared vision of stakeholders and demands facilities for knowledge management. It urges systems thinking which focuses on the problem before evaluating a certain solution against its safety. Such strategy promises an active approach to tackle safety in early design phase and encourages transparency to the public with regard to system safety [1,2].

Project activities

This study aims to create a model that clarifies the relationships between technical, human and organizational factors and their influence on safety or risk. This model helps to assess and monitor the UAV (with a maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) less than 25 kilograms) operations and helps offering more safe services.

The main activities during this project will be:

Ø

to explore the available modelling frameworks for quantifying safety and to adapt a specific one

Ø

to identify the Risk Influencing Factors (RIF) and to create a model for monitoring the safety of operation

Ø

to choose a communication platform and create a customized view for the operator/user.

Practical details

The student will be supervised by Mohammad Rajabali Nejad and Alberto Martinetti. The student will receive a workplace at the University of Twente (in the Horst building). The student is expected to visit relevant companies during the project to conduct interviews. Other details will be discussed during the application process.

·

MSc thesis project for specialization: Engineering Design

·

Recommended foreknowledge:

·

Supervisors: Dr. Ir. Mohammad Rajabali Nejad, Dr. Ir. Alberto Martinetti

·

Language requirement: English-speaking students

References

[1] Rajabalinejad, M. and Bonnema, G.M. and Houten, F.J.A.M. van (2015) An integral safety approach for design of high risk products and systems. In: Luca Podofilini & Bruno Sudret & Bozidar Stojadinovic & Enrico Zio & Wolfgang Kröger (Eds.), Safety and Reliability of Complex Engineered Systems: ESREL 2015. CRC Press, 3953 - 3959. ISBN 9781138028791 [2] K.Smith, Maintenance Engineering and Management, Delft Academic Press, 2014

[2] Schuitemaker, K. and Braakhuis, J.G. and Rajabalinejad, M. (2015) A model based safety architecture framework for Dutch high speed train lines. In: 10th International Conference on System of Systems Engineering (SoSE), San Antonio, TX, May 17-20, 2015, 17-05-2015 - 20-05-2015, San Antonio, TX