Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG 2015

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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45 unmanned systems inside POLICY. ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. ENGINEERING. POLICY. PrecisionHawk of Raleigh, N.C., maker of the PrecisionHawk (above), is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to support beyond- line-of-sight (BLOS) operations. It could benefi t if international negotiators agree to allocate frequencies for BLOS fl ights this November. Photo courtesy of PrecisionHawk September/October 2015 ing formally on new standards this past March. It will take a number of years before rules are craft- ed and agreed upon—possibly causing delays in implementation if things get bogged down. The ITU meetng comes up just as a pair of slen- der frequency bands for UAS data transmission and possibly beyond-line-of-sight control have become available in the United States. The Maryland firm Access Spectrum is offering for sale licenses to use the 1 MHz between 757.0 and 758.0 MHz and (uplink) and the 1 MHz be- tween 787.0 and 788.0 MHz (downlink). The fre- quencies fall in the same spectrum neighborhood as those used by Verizon's LTE network, FirstNet and public safety bands and are interference-free, said John Vislosky, Access Spectrum senior vice president. Exclusive licenses for the paired bands are being offered by geographic region. The company already has sold licenses to four utility companies, Vislosky said: Great River En- ergy for use in Minnesota and Wisconsin, North- Western Energy for use in Montana and portions of South Dakota, the Salt River Project which bought all of the Phoenix and Mesa areas of Ari- zona and Portland Gas and Electric in Oregon. He said the firms plan to use the frequencies for fixed data solutions for secure communication, primarily for distribution automation and the re- routing of power from low utilization areas to high utilization areas. Ancillary to that, Vislosky said, some of the utility firms "are looking to implement UAV pro- grams—fly power lines, substations etc." It is not clear if there would be enough capac- ity beyond the firms' own UAS programs to en- able other UAS operators to lease frequencies for flights, he said. Vislosky added that he is close to conclud- ing deals with two firms that intend to use the spectrum specifically to support UAS flights and is talking with at least one organization that is weighing buying up the licenses for all the remain- ing regions across the country. In addition Spectrum Access plans to work with Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) UAS test ranges in North Dakota, Alaska and Texas—as well as the new FAA Center of Excel- lence anchored at Mississippi State University— to test the use of the new spectrum. The ranges will be allowed exclusive use of the frequencies for their work with manufacturers in exchange for sharing relevant test results, Vislosky said."

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