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Increasing Relevance of Weather for Operating UAS - Shown at the Example of Wind

Why are the effects of weather many times greater for UAS than for commercial aircraft?

For successfully operating commercial UAS services, the role of weather is highly relevant. Since drones and airtaxis are smaller and lighter than conventional airliners, the role and influence of weather on the actual flights is relatively stronger.

With the increasing maturity of flight operations, the limits of the UAS's performance capability are being increasingly stretched. For example, longer flight distances will stress the battery limits or the UAS will fly in more harsh weather conditions.

To ensure safety in the flight operations it is key to have sophisticated flight planning. At the same time, operators have a high need for decreasing the number of human activities in order to achieve viable business cases.

Using the example of wind, we show the impact on a flight, using our simulation technology

We create a flight route from Munich Central Station to Munich Airport.


We setup two different scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: We implement only basic parameters such as ‘Wind speed’, ‘Wind gust’, and ‘Rain amount’

  • Scenario 2: In addition to the setup of scenario 1, we add two more sophisticated parameters: ‘Head wind component’ and ‘Crosswind to track’

Next, our Flight Forecast software simulates the flight path taking into account the parameters mentioned. The parameters have the same limit values in both scenarios. As soon as a limit value for a parameter is reached, the flight status turns yellow or red. In addition, the software simulates the flight duration and the battery state of charge (SOC).


Results:

  • The flight status differs between the two scenarios due to a too strong headwind.

  • The flight duration also differs, as the two additional parameters allow for a more accurate simulation.

  • The head wind along the flight path has a high impact on the battery state of charge!


Increasing relevance of weather for operating UAS - Example wind
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