Architecture requirements for ethical, accurate, and resilient unmanned aerial personal remote sensing

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

2014 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS)


The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers


Orlando, FL

Publication Date



It is undisputed that number of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) will increase in the coming years. Small unmanned aerial scientific remote sensing systems or “data drones” have great potential to assist the human race with difficult problems such as water management and biofuel production, provided these systems can be integrated properly into society and airspace. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ideally will present rules for integrating UASs into National Aerospace System (NAS) by 2015. Ethics, safety, and data quality are the fundamental architectural components required for successful operation of autonomous aerial remote sensing systems, enabling integration into society and ultimately providing the benefits of these emerging technologies. In aviation, safety is the primary concern. In case of UAS and Personal Remote Sensing (PRS), the sole purpose of flight is to collect data; thus data is the Mission (i.e., the sole reason for airspace usage). Ethical principles for collection of information and personal privacy must also be included, to justify the use of UASs in civil (public) airspace while upholding the rights expected by civilians. Policies, standards, and agreements on architecture are necessary for producing systems which adhere to these fundamentals; aerial systems must include these basic properties in their designs to allow for lasting harmony between society and unmanned systems. In this paper, it is shown that any architecture which accomplishes this integration task must be compliant with the Architecture for Ethical Remote Information Sensing (AERIS) requirements. Several existing consumer-grade SUASs are evaluated based on these criteria and suggestions for AERIS compliance are given.

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