System-of-Systems Modeling for Personal Air Vehicles

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DeLaurentis, Daniel A.
Lim, Choon Giap
Kang, Taewoo
Mavris, Dimitri N.
Schrage, Daniel P.
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On-going research is described in this paper concerning the development of a methodology for adaptable system studies of future transportation solutions based upon personal air vehicles. Two challenges in this research are presented. The challenge of deriving requirements for revolutionary transportation concepts is a difficult one, due to the fact that future transportation system infrastructure and market economics are inter-related (and uncertain) parts of the equation. Thus, there is a need for a macroscopic transportation model, and such a task is well suited for the field of techniques known as system dynamics. The determination and visualization of the benefits of proposed personal air vehicle concepts for individuals presents a second challenge. In this paper, the primary benefit metrics that serve as system requirements for personal transportation applications are the Doorstep-to-Destination travel time-savings and net present value of utilizing the new transportation option as compared to a conventional transportation mode. The modeling and determination of these metrics, the synthesis of vehicle characteristics, as well as existing travel statistical data are integrated into the system model to enable visualization of the design space and to guide the design space evolution through sensitivity assessment. This individual traveler-based analysis is referred to as a microscopic model, and interesting results from its execution are reported. The results indicate the level and direction of technology progress required to create economically viable personal air transportation architectures.
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