As part of the certification activities in which we are involved with our clients, a reliability analysis of the U-Pilot autopilot platform has been carried out. This analysis has yielded a mean time between catastrophic failure of about 80,000 hours for the variant with the single sensor IMU and a time between catastrophic failure of 28,200,000 hours for the variant with tripled IMU.
For this analysis, the catastrophic failure has been defined as one that makes the UAV unable to continue with a safe automatic flight without the intervention of a remote human pilot. The scenarios considered include, among others:
• Power system failure
• Failure of the attitude determination system
• Failure of the positioning system, with special attention to the determination of the height
• Failure of the central processing unit (main FPGA)
• Failure of the communication system to peripherals and actuators
A failure tree analysis (FTA) has been carried out identifying the types and hierarchies of possible failures in relation to the components that make up the autopilot.