The Role Of The Global Hawk System Safety

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Global Hawk System Safety
UAVs are a rapidly growing part of the aerospace world. Though they have mainly been utilized in military functions, the continued development of UAVs is leading toward civilian application in addition to continued military use. The use of UAVs in commercial environments brings with it a new set of safety risks which must be investigated, analyzed, and mitigated in order to ensure safe operation in the national airspace system (NAS). (Lum & Waggoner, 2011.) This paper will investigate the existing safety systems in place for the Northrop Grumman made Global Hawk UAV in order to understand what the existing safety systems entail, how they will work when introduced into the NAS, and what additions may be required in
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Collision avoidance for manned aircraft relies on the pilot’s judgment and use of his available instruments which include visual awareness. Since there is no pilot on board, there is no means of visual scanning in UAVs to detect aircraft in the vicinity. The operator of the Global Hawk is limited to only instrumentation for detection. This poses an increased risk of collision, when operating in the NAS, as there are many factors which could lead to instrumentation failing to alert the operator in time or not providing sufficient information for the operator to take the best action to avoid the collision. Collision of aircraft is a catastrophic hazard and as such, the safety measures to prevent it must be as thorough as …show more content…
The FAA issued Global Hawk a certificate of waiver or authorization (COA) which requires a five-day advance notice be provided to the FAA, that a IFR flight plan be filed, and the use of chase aircraft, ground observers and/or ground radar contact as a collision avoidance measure (Billingsley, 2006). This method has been effective so far, with no collisions of Global Hawk with other aircraft reported. These measures for collision avoidance are all external to Global Hawk and there are no internal collision avoidance safety systems in

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