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Title: How to meet the evolving situational awareness needs from airborne platforms
Author: Tarter, Alex
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 7417
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2010
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In order to operate safely civil aviation is increasingly reliant on the collection and provision of situational awareness. This situational awareness is fed to the pilot who uses it to know what is going on around them and minimise the risk of a dangerous situation occurring. Since their inception military commanders have long used unmanned aerial systems to provide situational awareness (namely imagery) of remote areas. This situational awareness information is transmit- ted back to them over military data-links so they can use it to make decisions, coordinate forces and plan strategies. However times are changing, or to be more specific the number and variety of decision-makers on the ground, who require situational awareness information generated on airborne platforms, are increasing. The September 11 th 2001 attacks using hijacked aircraft has meant that security is now playing a greater role in aviation alongside safety. Multiple decision-makers on the ground from political heads to air defence commanders now also want access to situational awareness information on the aircraft. Which means that in addition to the flow of safety related situational awareness information to the pilot there will need to be a whole new flow of security information from the aircraft to decision-makers on the ground. The same style of shift is occurring in the military UAS community as a result of implementing the twin doctrines of network centric operations and power to the edge. This means providing a greater amount of situational awareness to lower level decision-makers (soldiers in the field). Which means that instead of providing just one feed to a commander, the unmanned aerial system now has to supply imagery to multiple receivers all of whom could have different situational awareness needs. This thesis addresses those points and proposes using on-board processing systems for both platform types to create situational awareness information streams capable of simultaneously meeting the requirements of multiple decision-makers. This is accomplished with the use of fuzzy inference systems to turn raw sensor information into pieces of situational awareness that can be acted upon by decision-makers. These systems look for anomalous activity in passenger behaviour, which could indicate a security situation is occurring. It also proposes a method that allows decision-makers to tailor an imagery system to their needs rather than forcing decision- makers to use a one-size fits-all type of situational awareness provision system. The results of this thesis show that using historical patterns of behaviour and scenario generation airborne systems can be built to meet the new needs of multiple decision-makers on the ground. Techniques such as fuzzy inference systems can be tailored to perform the collection and processing of data into situational awareness information allowing it to be communicated over existing bandwidth limited connections. Therefore the overall hypothesis of this thesis is that there are evolving situational awareness needs that existing systems cannot meet and that through onboard situational awareness collec- tion and processing systems, ground-based decision-makers can obtain the situational awareness information they need even over the existing bandwidth limited communications channels.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available