Modeling and Simulating Human Fatality due to Quadrotor UAS Impact

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Evaluating safety risk posed to third parties on the ground due to UAS impact requires a model of probability of fatality (PoF) for human. For quadrotor UAS, the existing impact models predict remarkably different PoFs. The most pessimistic is the impact model adopted by Range Commanders Council (RCC) while the Blunt Criterion model is far more optimistic. The ASSURE study has assessed the third set of PoF values through conducting controlled drop tests of a DJI Phantom III on a crash dummy; these results differ again. To investigate these discrepancies, this paper employs a numerical impact analysis of UAS collisions on humans. The current paper is the third in a series of studies. The first study developed a MultiBody System (MBS) simulation model of a DJI Phantom III impacting the head of a crash dummy; this MBS model has been validated against the experimental drop test results of ASSURE. The second study conducted simulations with the validated MBS model to systematically show the differences in head and neck injuries if the human dummy is replaced by a validated MBS model of a human body. The aim of the current paper is threefold: i) to extend the latter MBS model to assess injury levels for DJI Phantom III impact on thorax and abdomen; ii) to transform the assessed injury levels for head, thorax and abdomen to PoFs; and iii) to compare the MBS obtained PoFs to those from RCC and Blunt Criteria models. The MBS based results show that variations in the scenario of DJI Phantom III impact on the head significantly affect PoF. These variations are not captured by the RCC or BC model, and neither in the ASSURE measurements. Both for head, thorax and abdomen, in case of comparable impact scenarios, the RCC model tends to over-predicts PoF compared to the MBS model, while the BC model tends to under-predict PoF.