PhD Defense by Coline Ramée

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Coline Ramée
(Advisor: Prof. Mavris]

will defend a doctoral thesis entitled,

Conceptual-Level Analysis and Design
of Unmanned Air Traffic Management Systems


Friday, July 30 at 8:00 a.m.

There have been multiple announcements by different companies in the past couple years of package delivery by drone and air taxi projects. However, there are still many barriers to the deployment of high densities of aerial vehicles in low-altitude airspace over urban areas. Current Air Traffic Control Systems cannot handle the high density of traffic being forecast. Integrating these new types of on-demand air mobility in the National Airspace requires a fundamental change to the traffic management system. Many different concepts of operations for unmanned traffic management (UTM) systems have been proposed, but there is no common framework to evaluate and compare alternatives at a conceptual design stage.


In this thesis, a systematic approach to the design of UTM systems is introduced. An agent-based simulation is developed and used to evaluate the impact of the inclusion of different subsystems and external factors on the outcome of the conceptual design stage. This work shows that there are many interactions between agents’ autonomous behaviors, airspace structure, and external factors such as demand and static obstacles. Neglecting these interactions or making simplifying assumptions may result in the selection of an architecture that underperforms in terms of safety, capacity or efficiency in the two use cases that were evaluated.



  • Prof. Dimitri Mavris – School of Aerospace Engineering (advisor)
  • Prof. Daniel Schrage – School of Aerospace Engineering
  • Dr. Tejas Puranik – School of Aerospace Engineering
  • Dr. Simon Briceno – Chief Commercial Officer, Jaunt Air Mobility
  • Dr. Zohaib Mian – Google
  • Mr. Mike Paglione – Aviation Research Division, FAA


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Tatianna Richardson
  • Created:07/19/2021
  • Modified By:Tatianna Richardson
  • Modified:07/19/2021