Aviation Update|September 2020
All over the world a large population lives in big or small cities, involved in growth of domestic products and earnings. Fast urbanization has led to some efficient planning of infrastructure and mobility leading to what we call today as Smart City. Such concepts are governed by main two factors one energy-efficient systems and environmental friendly systems .it is known that rapid uncontrolled urbanization lead to severe environmental problems and societal problems such as traffic congestion leading to wastage of fuel and time.

One of the biggest challenge is Land Traffic congestion and long waiting line city roads, congestion, traffic snarls etc. As per available reports on internet it is expected that, for European Union, traffic congestion and its accrued effects cost may be of the tune of €300 billion per year by 2030.

There is a need to provide efficient and effective transportation system which is energy efficient does not suffer from congestion. Visualizing the advancement in Unmanned Aerial systems (UAS) / Drones, people started expecting an efficient mobility system which uses the city sky but not as an aeroplane or helicopter but at very low altitude. This gave rise to concept of Urban Air Mobility (UAM).

Initial bid of UAM is for special traffic such as ambulance, life-saving medicine supply, disaster management help etc. later it was to have an AIR taxi which can carry some limited person from one place to another as a service like Uber or personal transport system.

Urban Air Mobility

UAM system development is not only a technological problems but an integration of technology, infrastructure, certification systems ground-based traffic control system in dense habitat area and cybersecurity systems Business model is an important aspect of air mobility which would define the routes and low altitude airways.

UAM Development Technology Fusion Technology Air Mobile: This is a major field of technology for UAM systems comprising of many trailblazing technology and innovations.

Propulsion systems. Presently we have all unmanned systems based on propeller driven by a DC motor as for example quadcopters of various sizes. The technology needs to be further developed for a propulsion system comprising of conventional combustion engine and electric propulsion that is a Hybrid solution to be cost-effective viable passenger solution.

Power System and energy management: The electric propulsion in UAM will require static power source of high capability to run the heavy-duty motors. Besides this the power is required by avionics systems including the environmental control of passenger cabin. The present range of power sources are mostly Lithium-Ion Power packs capable of delivering power up to a fixed duration, after which recharging would be essential. This calls for not only charging facilities of power packs but also provision of emergency charging station s en route for smooth flight. There is a requirement to develop an efficient Safe Fuel Cells capable having low Power to weight ratio.

Structure: Since the UAM structure needs to different from usual concept of Fuselage, hence its rigidity and stress engineering would be different that a usual methods of using spars and support. The body need to be crash-proof for one fundamental reason that UAM is flying at low altitude in the thickly populated area with tall skyscrapers, In case of any snag, the passenger cabin needs to withstand crash to collision with some tall buildings etc. a number of research organization and commercial company’s are in process of a cockpit plus passenger cabin design which is sturdy and lightweight.

Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL)


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September 2020