Formal Methods in Air Traffic Management: The Case of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Invited Lecture)

  • César A. Muñoz
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9399)


As the technological and operational capabilities of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) continue to grow, so too does the need to introduce these systems into civil airspace. Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System is a NASA research project that addresses the integration of civil UAS into non-segregated airspace operations. One of the major challenges of this integration is the lack of an on-board pilot to comply with the legal requirement that pilots see and avoid other aircraft. The need to provide an equivalent to this requirement for UAS has motivated the development of a detect and avoid (DAA) capability to provide the appropriate situational awareness and maneuver guidance in avoiding and remaining well clear of traffic aircraft. Formal methods has played a fundamental role in the development of this capability. This talk reports on the formal methods work conducted under NASA’s Safe Autonomous System Operations project in support of the development of DAA for UAS. This work includes specification of low-level and high-level functional requirements, formal verification of algorithms, and rigorous validation of software implementations. The talk also discusses technical challenges in formal methods research in the context of the development and safety analysis of advanced air traffic management concepts.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Langley Research CenterHamptonUSA

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