Analysis of Fleet Management and Network Design for On-Demand Urban Air Mobility Operations

08/07/2020
by   Sheng Li, et al.
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A significant challenge in estimating operational feasibility of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) missions lies in understanding how choices in design impact the performance of a complex system-of-systems. This work examines the ability of the UAM ecosystem and the operations within it to meet a variety of demand profiles that may emerge in the coming years. We perform a set of simulation driven feasibility and scalability analyses based on UAM operational models with the goal of estimating capacity and throughput for a given set of parameters that represent an operational UAM ecosystem. UAM ecosystem design guidelines, vehicle constraints, and effective operational policies can be drawn from our analysis. Results show that, while critical for enabling UAM, the performance of the UAM ecosystem is robust to variations in ground infrastructure and fleet design decisions, while being sensitive to decisions for fleet and traffic management policies. We show that so long as the ecosystem design parameters for ground infrastructure and fleet design fall within a sensible range, the performance of the UAM ecosystem is affected by the policies used to manage the UAM traffic.

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