Tech & Science Drone revolution: Researchers, regulators prepare for unmanned aircraft to fill US skies

15:30  15 july  2017
15:30  15 july  2017 Source:   FOX News

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Drone revolution : Researchers , regulators prepare for unmanned aircraft to fill US skies . Don't Blink or You'll Miss the World's Fastest Drone Flying Faster Than a Sports Car. How Drones Can Improve Infrastructure Inspection and Maintenance.

In theory, everywhere we today see a helicopter or private airplane , there could be a drone . Future operators of FAA-certified unmanned aircraft could simply file a flight But one day the technology and the laws will be ready and the skies will be fully open to robots. How they are used will be up to us .

  With the Statue of Liberty behind it, a drone flies in the sky during practice day at the National Drone Racing Championships on Governors Island, August 5, 2016 in New York City. © Getty Images With the Statue of Liberty behind it, a drone flies in the sky during practice day at the National Drone Racing Championships on Governors Island, August 5, 2016 in New York City. From crop dusting to package delivery, commercial drones are about to become a part of everyday life.

“Just in the last 18 months, we’ve registered twice as many unmanned aircraft (as) we registered all aircraft from the previous 100 years,” said Earl Lawrence, director of the Federal Aviation Administration's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office.

To safely integrate the vast numbers of new unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the nation’s airspace, the FAA is relying on a group of 23 research institutions led by Mississippi State University. The Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) is conducting in-depth studies on virtually every aspect of drone operations, including air traffic control, pilot certification and crash avoidance.

Third of UK flights face 30-minute delay unless airspace modernised – Grayling

  Third of UK flights face 30-minute delay unless airspace modernised – Grayling The Transport Secretary warns that the skies are becoming “increasingly congested”.The skies are becoming “increasingly congested” and punctuality could be 70 times worse by 2030, Mr Grayling said.

16, 2014 picture, former Navy helicopter pilot and San Diego Gas & Electric unmanned aircraft operator Teena Deering holds a drone as it is prepared for takeoff near Regulators say the danger is too great, and they want to go slow easing unmanned aircraft into the already crowded skies .

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“What happens when a drone hits a wing or a windshield or any other part of the aircraft is (one) of our key questions,” Lawrence said.

In addition to studying drone strikes on aircraft, ASSURE researchers have been using crash test dummies to study the potential hazards of drones flying into, or falling on, people. According to Marty Rogers, ASSURE’s executive director, drone makers have expressed interest in design changes to their aircraft to reduce the risk of collisions.

“That’s pretty significant when manufacturers step up and say: ‘We really need your data because we’re willing to make changes on our side,’” Rogers said.

Although, many commercial drones provide live video feeds of their flights, the FAA generally requires operators to fly their drones within eyesight. But the commercial drone industry is actively preparing for a day this requirement is lifted.

Third of UK flights face 30-minute delay unless airspace modernised – Grayling

  Third of UK flights face 30-minute delay unless airspace modernised – Grayling The Transport Secretary warns that the skies are becoming “increasingly congested”.The skies are becoming “increasingly congested” and punctuality could be 70 times worse by 2030, Mr Grayling said.

Regulators say the danger is too great, and they want to go slow easing unmanned aircraft into the already crowded skies . FAA Administrator Michael Huerta says drone technology is promising but needs to be phased in responsibly. " We have a duty to protect people in the air and on the ground

“Whether it’s package delivery, whether it’s Arctic operations, regardless of what it is, almost every truly useful application of unmanned technology is beyond visual line of sight,” Rogers said.

Integrating commercial drones into the National Airspace System (NAS) will have an economic impact of $82.1 billion and create 103,776 U.S. jobs by the year 2025, according to research by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems international (AUVSI), a trade group.

While drone manufacturers and companies investing in unmanned flight are eager to reap the economic benefits, industry leaders and regulators agree the advance safety research is crucial to prevent crowded skies from turning into the Wild West.

“We’ve had a very long history of incremental development of the national airspace and policies and rules and regulations that govern it,” said David Shaw, vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University. “So, you introduce something that is a complete game changer and all of a sudden we have to rethink about everything.”

Third of UK flights face 30-minute delay unless airspace modernised – Grayling

  Third of UK flights face 30-minute delay unless airspace modernised – Grayling The Transport Secretary warns that the skies are becoming “increasingly congested”.The skies are becoming “increasingly congested” and punctuality could be 70 times worse by 2030, Mr Grayling said.

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Regulations & Policies. An unmanned aircraft system (UAS), sometimes called a drone , is an aircraft without a human pilot onboard – instead, the UAS is controlled from an operator on the ground.

Once the drone industry can overcome these hurdles, Robert Moorhead, director of MSU’s Geosystems Research Institute, predicts huge benefits for agriculture. On his desktop computer, Moorhead points to an image from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) showing weed infestations in a cotton field.

“What the UAVs allow us to do is to allow the farmer to go out there and apply herbicide only where he really needs to apply it,” Moorhead said. “So, it saves money and it reduces the load on the environment.”

Researchers hope their ongoing studies will help the regulatory side of the drone industry catch up with the technology. Lawrence of the FAA agrees.

“The FAA is working mightily to work at the speed of Silicon Valley,” Lawrence said. “Obviously, when you are developing public policy, we can’t move at that same speed.”

Fox News’ Chip Bell contributed to this report.

The Irish Air Corps will colour the skies above the Liffey today .
The Irish Aviation Authority’s #AviationIreland weekend take place this Saturday and Sunday.In preparation for the upcoming Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) weekend, five Air Corps PT-9 aircrafts will fly in close formation over the city centre this morning, leaving a smoke trail in the sky over the river.

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