Li Yu

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Brent Langhals, PhD


With ever more data becoming available to the US Air Force, it is vital to develop effective methods to leverage this strategic asset. Machine learning (ML) techniques present a means of meeting this challenge, as these tools have demonstrated successful use in commercial applications. For this research, three ML methods were applied to a unmanned aircraft system (UAS) telemetry dataset with the aim of extracting useful insight related to phases of flight. It was shown that ML provides an advantage in exploratory data analysis and as well as classification of phases. Neural network models demonstrated the best performance with over 90% accuracy in classifying of UAS phases of flight. Categorical and Regression Trees (CART) also performed well, whereas C5.0 is less suited for this task. In addition, several interesting patterns were uncovered within the dataset, which can aid UAS operators in identifying mission anomalies and atypical system operation.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number


Included in

Data Science Commons