This week’s drone digestthe latest & most important publications on the drone industry

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This is #9 in this series of compendia of what has been published about UASs. The below selection has been culled down to the most telling few, honest!


FAA Policy and AuthorizationsFAA-Logo1

→ FAA Administrator Opens UAS Registration Meeting—selected quotes:

  • These incidents make it clear: we must work harder to ensure a strong culture of safety and responsibility among unmanned aircraft enthuse.
  • No one wants to see this promising technology overshadowed by an incident or accident that could easily be avoided with proper training and awareness of the safety principles that are now second nature in manned aviation.
  • We’re hopeful this task force can provide the FAA guidance on some important questions as to how we determine the best way to register aircraft under 55 pounds.
  • How do we make registration as easy as possible for consumers while providing accountability?
  • What products should we exclude from registration based on weight, speed, altitude and flying time?
  • What information should we collect during the registration process, and what should we do with the data?
  • Should every unmanned aircraft sold have its own serial number, or how to tie particular aircraft to a particular user?
  • Should the process include a formal education component before an aircraft can be registered?
  • Should registration be retroactive and apply to unmanned aircraft that are now in the system?
  • Should there be an age requirement for registration?
  • Ultimately, we want to make registration as easy as possible for consumers, to relieve them of the complexity associated with registering larger, manned aircraft.

→ LoBiondo and Larsen Outline Priorities for Proposed FAA Unmanned Aircraft Registry—House Chair and Ranking Minority send their ideas on UAS registration

  1. Streamlined Process: The registration process should be entirely accessible to ordinary consumers who are becoming users of the airspace for the first time. Keeping the process simple will promote participation.
  2. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Access to Data: A key purpose of registration is to create a long-term deterrent to unauthorized UAS operations by establishing a means for detecting and prosecuting those who violate the law. In order for this approach to be effective, we believe the FAA must have access to the data regardless of whether a public or private entity operates the registry just as the agency has access to registration data of manned aircraft today.
  3. Education and Training: The registration process should include a knowledge or training component to ensure that consumers are made aware of the federal aviation laws and the consequences of violating them. The FAA’s Know Before You Fly campaign is a good start, but may not reach the entire new massive consumer drone market.  The task force should examine what further education and public outreach efforts should be made.
  4. Incentives for Consumers to Register: Requiring registration as a prerequisite to receive software updates and other improvements from manufacturers may incentivize consumers to register their UAS.

→ FAA Expands Unmanned Aircraft Pathfinder Efforts

→ Unmanned aircraft testing to be done in San Luis Valley—The FAA has awarded two Certificates of Authorization to the University of Colorado Boulder and the nonprofit aerospace advocacy group, UAS Colorado, to test two UAS in the San Luis Valley. The COA allows the drones to fly in an 8,000-square-mile air space in the San Luis Valley to heights of 15,000 feet. One of the UASs is a 120-pound vertical takeoff craft known as the Reference Technologies Hummingbird and a smaller, battery-powered UAS.


→ A Map of the §333 exemptionsu22



→ An All-Too-Important Primer on Insuring Your Drone Activities—With the introduction of a new product, the risks associated with its operation are UNKNOWN. This is a very practical article on how a Drone Owner should buy insurance. No value in trying to summarize it; the text speaks for itself.


Legislative Information

→ Symposium addresses ‘culture change’ in aviation as use of unmanned systems grows—Aviation Subcommittee Chair LoBiondo held a meeting back in New Jersey and one participant, Marke “Hoot” Gibson, FAA Senior Advisor on UAS Integration, made the following relevant declaration: “It’s all a kind of culture clash between tradition aviation and IT people.”


Operational Developments

→ Google Wants to Deliver Your Stuff by Drone in 2017—“…the company officially announced that it was testing delivery drones in Queensland, Australia, after The Atlantic published a report outlining the secretive program. A glimpse of one of the drones in action made its way onto the Web in late October when a venture capitalist tweeted a short video from a Google event in Arizona…Google would like to see low-altitude “Class G” airspace carved out for drones, saying it would keep UAVs away from most manned aircraft aside from low-flying helicopters, while enabling drones to fly over highly populated areas.”

→ At Prestigious NAS Workshop, Velodyne Sketches Future of Low-Cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicles


Regulatory Policy

→ How Will We Handle a Sky Full of Drones? Regulating them will be a challenge for governments at all levels, but we’re going to have to figure out how to do it.

→ Drones in the UK: will regulation kill innovation? UK editorial perspective on the clash between innovation and regulation.



Technology Development and Research

→ MIT’s autonomous UAV can make manoeuvre when flyingu44

→ Personal Drones Getting Sucked into Jet Engines Could Be Disastrous – According to a Virginia Tech study “…during landing and takeoff, a drone buzzing around an airport can get sucked into the jet engines. This can result in catastrophic damage. Additionally, due to uncontained engine failures the damage can spread to the wing (which can have fuel tanks) or even the fuselage and cabin.”


C.T.S Developed a Long Distance Drone Jammer—“The long distance jammer uses the radio control frequency disruption technologies to stop drones in the air to help establish the safety and security…The gun can operate with a significant frequency range, allowing to detect and bringing down a UAV from a far distance.”

→ Scientific Systems wins contract to develop visual control systems for UAV—DARPA initiates research to develop autonomous visual control systems for small UAVs in cluttered environments without GPS or human operator assistance.


→ New Drone Builds Its Own Maps, Moves Autonomouslu77


Restrictions from other than the Federal Government

→ The College restricts use of drones on campus—The College of William and Mary, the 2nd oldest US college located in one of the birthplaces of liberty, “is working on a broader policy to incorporate rules for drones on the rest of campus, including considering special cases for research or academic reasons.”

→ Revised drone ban in Poway—the California city proposed a drone law, the first in that state, “would prohibit drones from launching or landing in the city during disasters such as wildfires, when the unmanned devices might interfere with emergency responders in planes or helicopters.”

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