Weight threshold estimation of falling UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) based on impact energy

Different weight thresholds for drone operations have been specified by regulatory agencies in different countries, without detailed backgrounds of guidelines. Therefore, this paper aims to study weight thresholds by focusing different levels of injuries caused by the impact of the drones on human head of different weights dropped at various heights. The work covers drone free drop modelling, FEM (finite element method) based impact modeling, and comparable drop impact experiments. The analyses and experiments were conducted accordingly to two individual commercially-available groups: small and large drones in weights. Two well-established indicators defining head injuries due to impact, which are known as Head Injury Criterion (HIC) and Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS), are used in the present weight threshold study. The proposed AIS level for the weight threshold estimation has been set at AIS level 3, which indicates major skull fracture, in the further analysis through the probability of fatality. The main focus of the present work is to perform a parametric study and to present a reliable model to estimate the weight thresholds of the drone operations based on HIC and AIS. In conclusion, the results obtained and presented in this paper have demonstrated and provided a comprehensive analysis of possible direct injuries of a falling drone impacting a human head, with relevant data of impact or injury levels associated with HIC and AIS obtained for a drone with different weights falling from various heights.


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  • Accession Number: 01679471
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 7 2018 3:03PM