Curious about the legal issues behind UAVs? Listen to this week's podcast episode with Patrick Egan!

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Handy blog post linking to an article that details the ARC proposal from April 1, 2009 (read what you will into that):

Learn what you can do to help move things along by listening!

Views: 186

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 17, 2009 at 4:56am
This is mostly focused on the US/FAA regulatory environment and process. Points covered:

--Current state of enforcement (almost none)
--Worst case scenarios for future regulations
--The different "bins" of UAV design, from a regulatory perspective (weight, speed, etc)
--What does "commercial" mean?
--The role of community-based organizations such as the AMA in serving as regulatory cover (or not)
--What we can do
Comment by Zak on November 17, 2009 at 9:02am
Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

Comment by Sgt Ric on November 17, 2009 at 8:28pm
The RMax (and its earlier little brother) have been involved in the autonomous field for many years now.
The original versions were R/C with stabilization, but the Yamaha product line has only lately offered a fully autonomous version for the million bucks you mention.

Several teams at the IARC university competitions over the years have used the RMax as their base entry.

I seem to remember one of our members here at DIYDrones has flown one, I just can't recall the thread, except he showed us his demo for the Dept of Transportation in Washington state.
Comment by Jack Crossfire on November 18, 2009 at 12:17am
Working on the same project for years & years sounds familiar. Egan should have invited amateurs to Quantico so he wouldn't have been alone. Suspect the Korean RMax ran out of fuel or had some Kia parts swapped in.
Comment by Ken McEwan on November 18, 2009 at 11:01am
Good info on legal issues. The 30 mile limit may not be as big and issue as some might think. I use to fly high power rockets and our fields were not that far away from major airports. The way we got around this was to apply for an FAA waiver to fly our rockets. The waiver would have a ceiling of around 10,000 feet and would be called in to the FAA just prior to the start of launches. The FAA would warn commercial, military and civilian aircraft of the waiver but would not restrict our airspace or our use. It was our Range Officers responsibility to check for aircraft any any altitude and halt all launches until they passed. Our high power stuff could easily reach those altitudes with a considerable amount of mass behind it, so I don't see how some of the UAV equipment I've seen here lately would be any more of a threat to aviation than high power rockets.
As an example, the last high power rocket I built was 10' tall, 7.5" in Dia. and 53 lbs with propellant. The motor had a burn time of 1.5 sec with 750lbs of thrust and lifted the rocket to 4800'. maybe this doesn't apply, but felt it was worth mentioning.

Comment by Sgt Ric on November 18, 2009 at 12:40pm
Yes, there are some curious inequities in the regulatory process, for sure.

The lack of serious issue with balloons and rockets leads me to assume it is more to do with airspace "footprint" than size or altitude.

I had thought a large balloon would be more of a safety risk than a model aircraft, but the thinking seems to be it is usually more visible and slow, therefore easier to avoid...
Comment by Ken McEwan on November 18, 2009 at 8:43pm
If I remember correctly, we had to have a field diameter the same size as the waver and some of the larger rockets drifted more than a mile away from the launch site. I guess those in charge of the regulations are more concerned about a 5 lb UAV flying a 30mph and at 400 ft than a 50lb Rocket flying at 200-300mph and several thousand feet. Gotta love those bloated government agencies.
Comment by Mike Downey on November 20, 2009 at 6:06am
I am always curious why people freak out about little foam UAVs but never even mention ultralights! I always assume that the same type of rules apply to us that they use... stay out of controlled airspace and use the grey matter between your ears... other than that, there really arent any meaningful restrictions... you dont see the ultralight pilots giving 48 hours notice before a flight!
Comment by Patrick Egan on November 20, 2009 at 1:11pm
Amateurs at the demo wasn't my purview, plus there was no funding. My cost to fly to Virginia, car and hotel was paid out of pocket. We as a community really need to maximize on opportunities like the LUAS survey I posted a few months ago.
Comment by brakar on November 20, 2009 at 6:03pm
Thank you for sharing your knowledge about what is going in the US rule-making processes Patrick. It was highly informative, but also a bit scaring to listen to.



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