Introduction
Since 2001, a joint research project between Delft University of Technology (TUD), the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF; www.luchtmacht.nl) and The Royal Netherlands Naval College (KIM; www.nlda.nl) has addressed several aspects of UAV mission management. Since 2011, results are also being applied to the challenges associated with the navigation of unmanned vessels.

In the current research program, the following topics are being addressed:
  • UAV airspace integration
  • UAV autoland
  • Use of NEC for UAV operations
  • SA to support survivability
  • SA with respect to autonomy and authority
  • Management of degraded modes
  • Management of multiple UAVs
  • UAV surface guidance
  • operator support for USV navigation
Highlights
 
Innovation in Defence
The Hague, December 9-10

During the event Innovation in Defence the navigation support system for the supervisory control of unmanned vessels (developed in the context of the CSHIELD project) was demonstrated at the NLDA display.

Innovation in Defence 2013

Innovation in Defence 2013
Digital Avionics Systems Conference October 6-10
At the 32nd DASC, the paper 'From Spatial Conflict Probes to Spatial/Temporal Conflict Probes: Why and How' received the 'Best of Session' Award in the session 'System Wide Issues in Separation Management'.

DASC2013

 Naval days, June 20-23

During the Naval days, the Netherlands Defence Academy demonstrated a simulated UAV mission over the Northern part of the Netherlands using one of their research UCS setups.

 

marine525

Airshow, June 14-15
The Royal Netherlands Air Force celebrated its 100th anniversary with a magnificent airshow at Volkel AFB. For the first time, a GAASI Reaper was displayed at an airshow in the Netherlands. The Reaper was moved to the static display on June 13.

Also at the airshow was a demonstration of one of the NLDA/TUD UCS research consoles.

 
Reaper





 
console1

CSHIELD Symposium, April 2013
On April 2, the CSHIELD symposium was held at the Netherlands Defence Academy (NLDA). During this symposium, prof. Theunissen presented the conflict probing system developed to support operators of unmanned vessels with intercept guidance and collision avoidance.

CSHIELDconsole
Digital Avionics Systems Conference, October 2012
At the 2012 DASC in Williamsburg, M.Sc. student Maarten Kastelein (picture center) received the best of session award for his paper 'Implicit Maneuver Coordination: Issues and Potential Solutions'. Maarten also received the 3rd best graduate student paper award. Congratulations Maarten!
Dasc2012award

UAV Airspace Integration, April 2012
Based on results of our earlier research performed in the area of conflict probing, M.Sc. student Tom Verboon investigated whether it is possible to integrate the so-called conflict probing concept into an existing traffic and fighter control system used at the Air Operations Control Station in Nieuw Milligen. Rather than pursuing an integration of the probing functions into the existing system, the idea to independently compute the conflict space, and digitally combine the resulting image with the air traffic control display was pursued. Challenges comprised the realization of an interface to obtain the data from the radar trackers, the realization of a conflict probing function that uses the data from the radar tracking system, and the generation of a probe image that is conformal to the map projection used on the existing ATC system.
On April 26, Tom Verboon presented his M.Sc. research. Given the relevance of the innovation and the fruitful cooperation, it was deemed more than appropriate to do this at the AOCS-NM. Many students, relatives and friends had to rise very early in order to arrive at 9:30h AM at the base in Nieuw Milligen.
After the successful presentation and demonstration, the committee had a final discussion with Tom about his research in the office of the commander of the base.
Congratulations Tom !


Probes



Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), Seattle, October 2011
At the 30th IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference in Seattle, a total of three best paper awards were received. In the session ‘Surface Management and Automation’, the best paper award was for Joris Koeners, Richard Rademaker and the M.Sc. graduate student Erwin Stout. In the session ‘Human Machine Interface Applications’, the best paper award was for the joint TU Delft / Rockwell Collins paper authored by Erik Theunissen and Tim Etherington. In the session ‘Synthetic Vision Systems and Surface Applications’, the best paper award was for the joint TU Delft / Ohio University paper by Erik Theunissen and Maarten Uijt de Haag.



dasc2010

PhD Defense: UAS HMI & Automation, May 2011 
On May the 20th, Jochum Tadema successfully defended his PhD thesis: “Unmanned Aircraft Systems HMI & Automation” at Delft University of Technology. The thesis addresses issues in the areas of UAS manual control, autoland, sense & avoid and integrated conflict avoidance. The presented work is the result of a cooperation between the Netherlands Defence Academy and Delft University of Technology.

 

Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), Salt Lake City, October 2010 
At the 29th IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), the joint FAA / TU Delft / NLDA contribution titled ‘Maximizing the Use of the Vertical Maneuver Space for Conflict Prevention and Resolution: Concept, Implementation and Evaluation’, was awarded the best paper in the session Uninhabited Aircraft Systems -- Airspace, Navigation and Performance. Furthermore, the team presented the papers ‘Closing the ISR-Navigation Loop’ and ‘Evaluating the Impact of Sensor Data Uncertainty and Maneuver Uncertainty in a Conflict Probe’.

 

dasc2010

Visit of Secretary of Defence, March 1st 2010
During his visit to the Royal Netherlands Naval College in Den Helder, the Secretary of Defence flew a scenario in which a simulated UAV was set up to loose separation with another aircraft. Using the recently designed conflict probes that provide operator support, the Secretary of Defence maneuvered the UAV around the areas where a loss of separation was predicted, after which he re-engaged the autonomous navigation system.

The conflict probing system is a joint development of researchers from NLDA and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science of TU Delft.



Convenant


NLDA, AOCS-NM and EWI Signed a Covenant, October 22 2009
Since 2005, the Netherlands Defence Academy (NLDA) has addressed the topic of UAV airspace integration jointly with the Air Operation Control Station Nieuw Milligen (AOCS-NM) and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EWI) at Delft University of Technology. The results of the research have received international attention and recognition and both in 2007 and 2008 the researchers received the DASC Best of Conference Award. On October 22 2009, NLDA, AOCS-NM and EWI signed a covenant emphasizing the desire to continue the successful cooperation in the area of UAV research.

 

Convenant

Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), Orlando, October 2009 
At the 28th IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), the joint FAA / TU Delft / NLDA contribution titled ‘Defining Maximum Safe Maneuvering Authority in 3D Space Required for Autonomous Integrated Conflict Resolution’, was awarded the best paper in the Avionics Application Track.

 

dasc2009

Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), st. Paul, October 2008
At the 2008 IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), the best of track award of the Avionics Applications track went to the joint FAA / TU Delft paper ‘A New Ecological Primary Flight Display Concept’. In the track Avionics Design, the best of track award went to the joint NLDA / TU Delft paper ‘Design and Evaluation of a GUI for Operator Involvement in Airborne Conflict Detection and Resolution’. Furthermore, the David Lubkowski Memorial for Advancement in Digital Avionics Best Paper Award of the 26th DASC was presented to Jochum Tadema and Erik Theunissen for their paper ‘A Display Concept for UAV Autoland Monitoring: Rationale, Design and Evaluation’.

 

dasc2008

Open days Royal Netherlands Air Force 2008
During the open days of the Royal Netherlands Air Force on June 20 and 21, potential concepts for future airspace integration of UAVs were demonstrated to the public. In cooperation with the team of the Air Operations Control Station (AOCS) Nieuw Milligen, the mobile UAV control station demonstrator was connected to a mobile Multi AEGIS Site Emulator, to illustrate possible interaction concepts between UAV operators and Air Traffic Control (ATC).

 



Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), Dallas, October 2007
At the 26th DASC, the NLDA/TU Delft team received the David Lubkowski Memorial for Advancement in Digital Avionics Best Paper Award of the 25th DASC (2006) for the paper titled Operator Support for time critical situations: Design and Evaluation.
In addition, the paper titled A Display Concept for UAV Autoland Monitoring: Rationale, Design and Evaluation was rewarded with the Best Paper Award in the Systems for Aviation & Space Applications Track.





 
Symposium 'Defensie Innoveert'
In June 2007, a new and mobile UAV control station demonstrator was presented at the symposium 'Defensie Innoveert', a symposium on innovating activities within the Netherlands Ministry
of Defence. The demonstrated scenario included a retasking order to demonstrate mission replanning flexibility.
Additionally it comprised conflict detection and autonomous conflict resolution.



 

2006 annual meeting of the Royal Netherlands Navy
On October 31, 2006, a UAV exhibit was held at the annual meeting of the Royal Netherlands Navy marine and weapon engineering officers.
A short movie, demonstrating the possible use of the UAV Control Station in a future mission, was shown and several posters were presented. Besides, the payload control-part of the UAV mission level simulator was demonstrated to the public, showing the applicability of Network Enabled Capabilities for geographically separated UAV operators. The scenario included a retasking order to demonstrate mission replanning flexibility.





 

Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), Portland, October 2006
At the 25th DASC, five awards went to contributions from NLDA/TU Delft.
Two papers received both the Best of Session and Best of Track awards. These were: Operator Support for time critical situations (presented at the Unmanned Aircraft Systems session, in the Avionics Systems track), and Exploring network enabled airspace integration functions
for a UAV mission management station
(presented at the session Securing the Aviation Network, Network Centric Environment track). Furthermore, Sebastiaan 't Hart received the Best Student Paper Award for Integration of sensor characteristics into Unmanned Aerial Vehicle route (re-)planning.




 
Open days Royal Netherlands Air Force 2006
During the open days of the Royal Netherlands Air Force on June 16 and 17, the new UAV mission level simulator was demonstrated to the public.
The scenario was based on a mission
over Afghanistan. Particular elements
of the demonstration comprised conflict detection and autonomous conflict resolution.


 
National UAV Research Laboratory officially opened

On May 30, 2006, the new laboratory at the Royal Netherlands Naval College (KIM) was officially opened. It houses one of the three UAV mission level simulators that have been developed by researchers from TU Delft and the Netherlands Defence Academy (NLDA).
 
 

UAV thematic day

On May 9, 2006, a UAV thematic day was organized at the Royal Netherlands Naval College (KIM). Speakers from the Netherlands Defence Academy, Delft University of Technology, the Royal Netherlands Air Force and Industry provided an overview of ongoing research, results and future developments.
The focus was on the use of synthetic-
and enhanced vision technology and developments in the area of Network Enabled Capabilities.



 
Thematic day on airspace integration

On October 18, 2005, the Thematic day on airspace integration took place at the Air Operations Control Station (AOCS) Nieuw Milligen.
 
To demonstrate potential concepts for future airspace integration of UAVs, one
of the research mission management systems has been connected to the Multi AEGIS Site Emulator at the AOCS.
> more info at the demos page
 
Open Days of the Royal Netherlands Air Force
During the 2005 Open Days of the Royal Netherlands Air Force on June 17 and 18, we gave a demonstration of a simulated operation in Dutch airspace using on one of our three research prototypes.
> more info at the demos page