Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


Aeronautics and Astronautics

Committee Chair

Daniel DeLaurentis

Committee Member 1

Inseok Hwang

Committee Member 2

Dengfeng Sun


The increase in flight density and the need to integrate Unmanned Areal Vehicles into the National Airspace demands higher flexibility. Distributing the conflict detection and resolution (CD&R) functions among the aircraft ensures a greater flexibility in the flight plans for the aircraft. A co-operative planning system is proposed for separation assurance by distributing the CD&R in the en-route airspace among a fully-connected network of aircraft. The aircraft cooperate to achieve the common goal of conflict-free trajectories, while attempting to reduce the disruptions from their original flight plans. A pairwise CD&R algorithm is developed through heuristics which is then implemented iteratively to obtain the solution. Coordination of the aircraft maneuvers in the distributed CD&R algorithm is ensured implicitly through geometric criteria and explicitly through communication for multiple conflicts. Furthermore, a novel robust aircraft trajectory model using cubic Bezier parametric curves is developed, which gives an accurate, minimalistic representation of flight paths for the algorithm to act on and modify for new resolutions. The algorithm is validated by sweeping through different parameters for a two aircraft configuration and also compared with a benchmark tactical CD&R algorithm. Furthermore, the planning system is shown to be feasible for implementation with the current ADS-B surveillance technology.