Safely Flying BVLOS in the EU with an Unreliable UAS

Kristian Husum Terkildsen*, Ulrik Pagh Schultz, Kjeld Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Safe autonomous Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight is critical for the widespread exploitation of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs). Satisfying safety legislation requires documenting compliance with a raft of substantial requirements, a step which very few commercially available UASs have yet taken. Assessments under BVLOS conditions are required - but illegal for unassessed UASs. We propose to enable safe BVLOS flight tests using an Independent Failsafe System (IFS), which can be added to an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and enable a pilot to remotely monitor flights and terminate them safely via parachute if necessary. Our IFS has been designed for use under the European Union (EU) UAS legislation. In this paper, we describe this IFS and define a systematic approach for integrating its use into the Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) process necessary for BVLOS certification. The use of this IFS to safely fly an (otherwise) unsafe UAV has been approved by the Danish Civilian Aviation Authority (CAA) for BVLOS flights with a range of small multirotor UAVs. The results of experimental evaluations in closed airspace are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2021 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS)
Publication date19. Jul 2021
Article number9476834
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-4704-1
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6654-1535-4
Publication statusPublished - 19. Jul 2021
Event2021 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ICUAS 2021 - Athens, Greece
Duration: 15. Jun 202118. Jun 2021


Conference2021 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ICUAS 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding information:

10.13039/100012774-Innovation Fund Denmark


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