Highlighted Lab Research: Advanced Aerial Mobility
Urban Air Mobility (UAM) is an emerging concept proposed in recent years by utilizing electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs), which is expected to offer an alternative way of transporting passengers and goods in urban areas with significantly improved mobility by making use of low-altitude airspace.
1. Planning On-Demand Urban Air Mobility: Network Design, Performance Analysis, and Potential Demand Exploration of eVTOL On-Demand Service for Urban Air Mobility
This study focuses on the network design of UAM on-demand service, specifically, with integer programming and a solution algorithm, this study determines optimal locations of vertiports, user allocation to vertiports, and vertiport access and egress mode choices with consideration of interactions between vertiport locations and potential UAM travel demand. A case study based on simulated disaggregate travel demand data of the Tampa Bay Area in Florida was conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed model. Candidate vertiport locations were obtained from analyzing 3-D GIS map developed from LIDAR data of Florida state and physical and regulation constraints of eVTOL operations at vertiport. Optimal locations of vertiports were determined to achieve minimal total generalized cost, however, the modeling structure allows each user to select the better mode between ground transportation and UAM in terms of generalized cost. Outcomes of the case study reveal that although the percentage of trips switched from ground mode to multimodal UAM is small, users choosing UAM service benefit from significant time savings. In addition, we explored the impact of different parameter settings from the supply side on the demand of UAM service and tested how different pricing strategies might influence potential demand and revenue generation for UAM operators. The combined effects of number of vertiports and pricing strategies were analyzed as well. The findings from this study offer in-depth planning and managerial insights for municipality decision-makers and UAM operators. In the section of conclusions, the caveats of this study, on-going efforts of the authors and future directions in UAM research were discussed.
2.Airspace Design and Trajectory Planning for High-Density Advanced Aerial Mobility in Low-Altitude Urban Airspace
This study proposes a new framework of airspace management for UAM. 3D GIS map generated with Lidar data provides flyable airspace in low-altitude urban airspace. Shortest routes are developed at each flight level and trajectory deconfliction schemes are used to determine conflict-free and energy-efficient trajectories for high density UAM flights.
3. Design SIMMOD Simulation Model with Concurrent Manned and Unmanned Operations: TPA Case for Future Advanced Aerial Mobility
The objectives of this study are (1) identify potential vertiport locations on or near commercial airports; (2) design procedures for urban air mobility flights landing and takeoff from those vertiports; (3) identify the capacity of commercial airports for embracing future urban air mobility.
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