Semi-autonomous drone control with safety analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


This paper describes the partial automation of drones (also referred to as uncrewed aerial vehicles, UAVs or aerial robots) in a populated area within the visual line-of-sight of its pilot. Mission responsiveness is improved by reducing the number of human crew members and avoiding the need for area clearance, while carefully managing the workload of those remaining to ensure no compromise on safety. The work employs a system-centric approach with regards to integrating human and automation tasks based on their capabilities and use of standard procedures whilst prioritizing the predictability and simplicity of the overall system. Safety claims about the proposed system are posed and rigorously analyzed through a structured safety case. The proposed system is applied to a bridge inspection case study with simulation results and scenario analysis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDrone Systems and Applications
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council through the CASCADE Programme Grant, reference EP/R009953/1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s).


  • semi-autonomous
  • drone
  • UAV
  • safety


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