Inside Unmanned Systems

DEC 2018 - JAN 2019

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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10  December 2018/January 2019 unmanned systems inside by James Poss, Maj Gen (Ret.) USAF General Overview port rogue drones, methods to distin- guish between lawful/unlawful UAS and ways to mitigate risks of unlawful UAS. The FAA has 90 days to report to Congress on their strategy to imple- ment the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC), the Integration Pilot Program (IPP) and the UTM Pilot Program (UPP). THE ISSUES: This is the start of a concerted congressional effort to nail down the FAA on when the nation can expect full drone integration into the NAS and the executive branch can start defending the nation from rogue drones. Congress wants a written plan to hold the FAA accountable and they certainly didn't give the FAA at lot of time to write that plan. THE WINNERS: The commercial drone lobby, UTM providers, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and NASA. The commercial drone lobby and UTM providers want as much specificity as possible, along with an FAA written commitment to UTM. DHS wins because it gets details on the FAA's counter UAS plans and NASA wins because they are big UTM supporters. THE LOSERS: No one, really. There are some UTM nay-sayers in the FAA that won't like the UTM language and generally no federal agency likes to have its hands tied with a formal plan, but most of the FAA supports the plan. SEC. 44803. UNMANNED AIRCRAFT TEST RANGES UAS test ranges can get funding from sources other than FAA and the FAA has Other Transactional Authority (OTA) for UAS research. Test sites are extended for another five years. The FAA must use its ASSURE research consortium to the maximum extent possible. THE ISSUES: This is the test site and ASSURE states banding together to ex- tend their programs, get more f lexible funding sources and force the FAA to use their facilities. Before this language, the FAA had resisted accepting other federal agency funding for research. To be fair, most of the resistance was in the early days and the FAA is much more f lexible now. An FAA UAS OTA is a great idea, but Congress had to au- thorize it. OTAs allow their members to do prototype or limited production work without going through the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations). THE WINNERS: The UAS Test Site and ASSURE states (AK, AL, CA, FL, HI, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, MS, MT, NC, ND, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, TX and VA). That's a lot of states that will always get their way in Congress if they stick together. NASA, DHS and the Departments of Defense and Interior (DOD and DOI) benefit also because they can use the test sites directly, no questions asked and participate in the FAA UAS Research OTA. THE LOSERS: The FA A Technical Center. The Tech Center already knew the test sites and ASSURE would get a lot of research money, but the act codifies it. SEC. 44805. SMALL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SAFETY STANDARDS Small UAS (sUAS) will have risk-based consensus safety standards approved by FAA. No airworthiness certificate and no type certification required for sUAS. ASSURE will set up a center to study standards. THE ISSUES: I am not sure why this one is in here. The FAA is already on board with risk-based consensus safety standards and doing away with airwor- thiness/type certifications for sUAS. Maybe sUAS manufacturers wanted MAJOR GENERAL JAMES POSS (RET.) is a leading expert on UAS, having targeted the first armed UAS strikes, designed the U.S. Air Force's remote split operations system for UAS control, and helped design the Distributed Common Ground Station for UAS intelligence analysis. General Poss was the Executive Director of the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Center of Excellence Team. He is CEO of ISR Ideas—an intelligence, unmanned systems and cyber warfare consulting company with decades of intelligence community experience, coupled with insider FAA knowledge.

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