ATSM Approves New sUAS Operating Standards

3689586723?profile=originalUnfortunately, you have to pay to see them.  Does anyone know what the significance of this is?

Small UAS Operations

ASTM International Committee F38 on Unmanned Aircraft Systems has recently approved seven new standards that cover all major facets of small unmanned aircraft systems operations, including design, construction, operation and maintenance requirements.

The following seven new ASTM standards, written for all sUAS that are permitted to operate over a defined area and in airspace defined by a nation’s governing aviation authority, have now been approved by F38:

  • F2908, Specification for Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) for a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS). F2908 defines minimum requirements for the aircraft flight manual, which provides guidance to owners, mechanics, pilots, crew members, airports, regulatory officials and aircraft and component manufacturers who perform or provide oversight of sUAS flight operations.
  • F2909, Practice for Maintenance and Continued Airworthiness of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). F2909 establishes a practice for the maintenance and continued airworthiness of sUAS. Requirements for continued airworthiness, inspections, maintenance and repairs/alterations are included.
  • F2910, Specification for Design and Construction of a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS). F2910 defines the design, construction and test requirements for sUAS. In addition to general requirements, F2910 covers requirements for structure, propulsion, propellers, fuel and oil systems, cooling, documentation and other key areas.
  • F2911, Practice for Production Acceptance of Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS). F2911 defines production acceptance requirements for sUAS. Requirements covered include several aspects of production, system level production acceptance, quality assurance and documentation.
  • F3002, Specification for Design of the Command and Control System for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). F3002 provides a consensus standard in support of an application to a nation’s governing aviation authority to operate an sUAS for commercial or public use. The standard focuses on command and control (C2) links, including a diagram of a C2 system and general requirements for C2 system components.
  • F3003, Specification for Quality Assurance of a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS). F3003 defines quality assurance requirements for design, manufacture and production of small unmanned aircraft systems. Guidance is given to sUAS manufacturers for the development of a quality assurance program.
  • F3005, Specification for Batteries for Use in Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). F3005 defines requirements for battery cells used in sUAS. Mechanical design and safety, and electrical design battery maintenance are primary battery-related areas that are covered.

Original page: Small UAS Operations

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  • I have brought F2910, This says a lot of things! 

    Here in Spain AESA has release a briefing note than says "all professional use of drones are forbiden and have always been prohibited", i has stopped all multicopters filming or other commercial operation of drones. it is not a law and it probably will take a year or more to release this law.

    It does not apply to me because here in Europe regulations of less than 150kg are the responsibility of each national agency of each country (very stupid in my opinion, because there are too much diferent regulacions here in Europe) but it is interesting to me to start writing documents.

  • I paid for and looked at F3002, the one relating to Command and Control.  I believe the license allows me to say that it's pretty general in nature.  There is one specific point relating to the rate of link transactions completed with undetected error that might be viewed as a very specific standard, and perhaps one that is challenging to achieve (but I don't know that to be true, technically).  Various provisions that would certainly require at least a significant upgrade to the hobby-type equipment that people like to use, such as to provide backup power, predictable lost-link responses and the capability of remaining in a specific area, etc.  It could be that the other standards are more specific but I haven't looked at those.

  • Haven't read the story but the image got my attention.


  • Oh, one other thing... You may have to buy the standards every year. There was talk of the AMA following the same business model... you will have to be a member to use their hobby guidelines/standards. 

    If you are outside of either set of standards you will be operating outside of Federal law. 

  • They will be part of the small UAS rule. They have been promulgated primarily by the DoD vendors. Fred Marks from FMA Direct was the driver behind the battery standard. However, I am not sure he is totally happy with that?? 

    1. Just think about the limited certification Boeing and AV got for operations in the arctic.

    That was solely based on telephone numbers (made up data) from combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    2. Standards have to be onerous to support the DoD price points. Vendors cannot charge less for their products then they charge the government. 

    3. A quote I heard - "the Chinese stuff just ani't going to fly!" 

    Manufacturers will have to produce certification statements. If your system doesn't comply/preform you will be barred from operating. 

    4. Beware the groups asking for regulation now. I am very suspect of the AOPA's signing on to any effort for regulation for UAS. 

    They have been demanding an equivalent level of safety and certification. They were the main drivers behind the policy clarification of 2007.

    Those levels of certification favor the DoD vendors who have already done product development on the taxpayers dime. 

  • Moderator

    Well that's who has written them, matching the weight ranges to their platforms already for sale. None of this is new the community at large does not seem to be keen on what's being created for them.

  • Dwgsparky, sounds a lot like ISO "quality" standards.  A mountain of paper work required which does nothing to ensure the product is actually "quality" in the sense that most people understand the word.  It's just "document what you do, and do what you document".  But if you want to build crap, that's totally fine, as long as you document the crap you're building. And at the end of the day, all it does is eliminate the little guys who can't afford the manpower to generate the mountain of paperwork required to document how they build their crap.  

  • Moderator

    Having been involved in ASTM standards in my own industry it is very rare that ASTM will set out a Specification or Instructions, they will issue guidance of a suitable system for the design and manufacture as well as the maintenance and operation of UAVs.

    The concept is that the standard will apply to the present and the future so they are always vague in details. 

    For example they will decide that a vehicle must be maintained to a suitable standard but there will be NO details, no" motor change after 30hrs," more like "motor change at predetermined manufactures intervals"

    This just builds a paper mountain of documents and manuals that the manufacturer and user will need to provide because the FAA will ask for it as part of their process for any approval you need in the future. This mountain is what will push out the little guys. do you have the time and resources to produce the mountain for your product?

    And YES they are not legal or Mandatory documents. they are a standard to work to, Also remember that even if you do work to the standard you do not have any Approval from ASTM! none of these will help you if you try to export your products from the USA.   

  • Moderator

    Patrick is still working on getting them released for free so I'm waiting on that.

  • Moderator

    Yes the FAA have been waiting on these before the NPRM starts, so you as an end user need to pay in order to see what the NPRM might contain standards wise before you comment. It does not sit right with Patrick and I and I will post his response to the ASTM later on sUAS News. They are still not telling us who ended up on the panel. 

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