Look Ma No Hands

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), now commonly referred to as remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) by federal agencies, standards bodies, and military organizations worldwide, are again the hottest topic of discussion in the military/aerospace (mil/aero) community.

What has the industry, and the greater public, buzzing? The prospect of sitting in a window seat of a commercial passenger airliner, glancing out the tiny window to your left or right, and seeing a remotely operated unmanned aircraft. This scenario could become reality, in less than three years, and many people are apprehensive. It’s not just Joe Q. Public that’s up in arms, either; air traffic control operators, military pilots, helicopter owners and operators, and other aerospace professionals have voiced concerns.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Section 332) calls for the integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS). In fact, it specifies that the U.S. Secretary of Transportation consult with representatives of the aviation industry, Federal agencies that employ unmanned aircraft systems technology in the NAS, and the UAS industry on the development of a comprehensive plan to safely accelerate the integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system. The deadline for this safe integration of civil UAS into the NAS, although desired “as soon as practicable,” is September 30, 2015.

This geek doesn’t envy the FAA. Its UAS integration plan needs to take into account avionics technologies and subsystems, including sense-and-avoid capability; rulemaking, operator licenses, and vehicle registration; certification, flight standards, and air traffic requirements; and more. 

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Posted November 28th, 2012, by

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About J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

J. VanDomelen holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and myriad certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTia in varying facets of computer software, hardware, and network design and implementation. He has worked in the electronics industry for more than 12 years in varied fields, including advanced systems design of highly technical military and aerospace computer systems, semiconductor manufacturing, open source software development, hardware design, and rapid prototyping. J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

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Commented on November 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm
By U.S. Drone Under Fire Near Iran « J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

[…] Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, are the topic of much conversation in the military/aerospace (mil/aero) community; much of the talk centers on UAVs in airspace, in fact. […]

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