VTD researcher presented Naval Air Warfare Center award

December 28, 2012

Story Highlights

  • ARL's Natasha Bradley honored for work on crash area predictions for target level safety to third party teams.
  • Effort looked at third-party risks if an unmanned aircraft flew over national airspace.
  • Software tool she helped create takes aircraft data, flight plan to calculate a risk per flight hour.

Natasha Bradley, mechanical engineer with the Health and Usage Monitoring Researcher for the Prognostics and Diagnostics Team of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's (ARL)Vehicle Technology Directorate (VTD), was presented in November with the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Commander's Award for her work on crash area predictions for target level safety to third-party teams.

This effort determined the risk posed to uninvolved third parties by an unmanned aircraft operating in the national airspace. It involved developing crash lethality and population density models and implementing them into a MATLAB tool.

A former NAWCAD employee, Bradley was one of the four creators of this tool. She joined ARL in April 2012.

"I was extremely surprised my team won the award, and grateful for the opportunity to help NAWCAD in such a way," she said.

The Third Party Risk Assessment software tool takes aircraft data (such as failure rate, weight, wingspan, fuel load, etc.) and a flight plan to calculate a risk profile along with a flight path to give the user the potential casualties per flight hour. This software tool is completely government owned and currently used by the Naval Air System Command as a tool for unmanned air systems (UAS) integration into the national airspace.

Bradley is currently involved in research using UAS at VTD. The details of this project were published in a technical note written by Natasha Bradley, "Potential Crash Location (PCL) Model" report number - NAWCADPAX/TR-2012/195.


Last Update / Reviewed: December 28, 2012