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|Title:||AUTONOMOUS UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES (UAVs): SYSTEM DESIGN & OPTIMIZATION|
|Abstract:||The introduction of electric autonomous Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAVs) in cities is considered the ultimate disruptive sustainable technological solution due to the promised speed, affordability, and significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions. The integration of UAVs into the future smart city fabric offers a wide range of applications. In particular, UAVs are ideal for last-mile operation, which is expected to reduce delivery costs, GHG emissions, and delivery time compared to light trucks and other traditional delivery methods. As UAVs operate in the city airspace, and with the current generation of older cities, several technological challenges arise with the anticipated proliferation of heterogeneous UAV fleets in low-altitude airspace of dense urban areas. Being a fairly new disruptive technology with no real-world operation data, the literature only considers a few of the system design parameters and often disregards the impact of other essential parameters such as Kinematics and airspace policies. This leads to significant uncertainty in the estimated UAV energy consumption, ranges, and emissions yielding inaccurate conclusions regarding the full system design predilections. Therefore, an effective UAV system design should strive to understand the broad spectrum of parameters’ impacts to optimize the integration and operation. Towards that end, this research aims at investigating the different UAV system design parameters and their intertwined impacts on operation efficiency to obtain accurate system optimization results. The research utilized several datasets for the delivery demand and digital-twin city model data of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The research employed a state-of-the-art flexible energy use model for UAVs calibrated to experimental measurements to generate a minimum-energy trajectory along with several proposed novel airspace discretization, trajectory optimization, and charging infrastructure allocation optimization models. In this respect, this dissertation quantified the impact of airspace policies, discretization, and trajectory generation on the energy consumption of UAVs. Furthermore, it unveiled the operation uncertainties and their implications on the cost, emissions, and allocated charging infrastructure demand. Unlike the UAV literature, our research included all system design parameters and their impact on the performance metrics. The dissertation also proposes a novel combined airspace discretization and trajectory generation algorithm for optimal UAV energy consumption, airspace capacity maximization, airspace traffic control, and off-grid solar charging station allocation. For instance, it is found that UAV deployment with carefully tailored airspace policies in delivery could reduce GHG emissions in the freight sector by up to 35% compared to EVs. Furthermore, the research highlighted how building integrated photovoltaic BIPV upgrades with associated buildings can eliminate GHG emissions and significantly reduce the decarbonization price through associated savings and excess generated electricity. Overall, this research presents a unique contribution to the knowledge of UAV research for practitioners, policymakers, and academia.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|ElSayed_Mohamed_SA_2209_PhDCivEng.pdf||10.25 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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