UAS Loss of Link Procedure Evaluation Methodology The MITRE Corporation
George Mason University

The team followed a three-step approach in order to identify the criteria important to the UAS community and develop a methodology for analyzing the adequacy of loss of link procedures:

  1. Qualitative
    In order to determine the important elements of a UAS loss of link situation, the team conducted interviews with relevant UAS stakeholders. The team met with the following Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) available at MITRE:
    • Global Hawk UAS pilot
    • Air Traffic Control (ATC) human-in-the-loop experiment analyst
    • UAS loss of link data analyst
    • Lead developer of automated ATC tool
    • Traffic flow management lead architect
    • Lead UAS Architect
  2. Absolute Binary
    The team determined from discussions with the sponsor and SMEs that a loss of link procedure may be eliminated because it does or does not include a certain element involved or does not meet a specific qualification. Using certain thresholds that must be met by a procedure, the list of procedures can be narrowed.
  3. Analytical
    The team developed and identified simulations that allow the analysis of individual procedures based on specific criteria:
    1. UA predictability
    2. ATC workload


The MITRE Corporation is a not-for-profit organization that manages Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), one of which is the Center for Advanced Aviation System Development, which supported this project. The sponsor for the project was Andrew Lacher, the UAS Cross-Center Coordinator and Research Strategist at The MITRE Corporation.

This work was done as a graduate project for the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University.

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