Integration and Celebration – AUVSI 2015
What a week! I’m coming to you live from the show floor at AUVSI 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia, and as every year previously it has been an exciting extension of all the news from the UAV world. This year was a good one with commercial unmanned systems finally taking over the shower floor, and counterbalancing the ever present DoD-centric technologies.
This year was a complex mix of attorneys, trainers, new systems and “older systems,” and yet one new element really inspires me. This year, the Federal Aviation Administration was in attendance in force and really showed the support and ingenuity that it is capable of. For each speaker session and FAA representative was in attendance, and the booths they manned offered helpful insights for all spectrum of interested parties.
I gave three talks this year at AUVSI and all were very well attended with great questions from the audience. I first presented the work I have been doing with the industry consensus standards group ASTM F38.03. The tasking I lead is to develop the risk assessment process for the Unmanned Systems industry from the lowliest applicant looking to fly within the confines of the sUAS rule, to the leading manufacturer looking to provide reliability data in a meaningful way to the regulators.
My second responsibility was to act as a technical chair for the Risk and Safety Mitigations sessions as part of the Technical Conference that coincides with the exhibition show floor. I had the pleasure of introducing, MCing, and fielding questions for leaders in the field of software security and safety quantifications, UAS accident and incident reporting and data collection, and military integration into commercial space. It was a true honor to be able to create a narrative between these presenters and one that I hope to enjoy again in the future.
Finally, and most rewarding, was as a Start-up Founder in the AUVSI Shark Tank. I led off the field of 7 presenters in front of over 200 people. I gave a 5 minute pitch to these sharks from the manufacturing, software, and technology service industries. The feedback I received was helpful moving forward, and while they weren’t there to fund anyone (BOOO!!) they were very helpful in understanding that A) they loved our technological solution B) Want to discuss further for our company – WiFly Technologies. I will have much more on that endeavor was we make our formal public announcement soon.
The FAA Just announced that there exist 3 separate pilot programs in the United States for Beyond Visual Line of Sight Testing, Extended Line of Sight Testing, and Flight over people Testing. Read the Public Announcement Here. This is Big News People!
- Visual line-of-sight operations in urban areas
CNN will look at how UAS might be safely used for newsgathering in populated areas.
- Extended visual line-of-sight operations in rural areas
This concept involves UAS flights outside the pilot’s direct vision. UAS manufacturer PrecisionHawk will explore how this might allow greater UAS use for crop monitoring in precision agriculture operations.
- Beyond visual line-of-sight in rural/isolated areas
BNSF Railroad will explore command-and-control challenges of using UAS to inspect rail system infrastructure.
These announcements are well timed at AUVSI as the general populace has become more and more optimistic about the future of domestic UAS.
I will leave you with this:
“Even as we pursue our current rulemaking effort for small unmanned aircraft, we must continue to actively look for future ways to expand non-recreational UAS uses,” Huerta said. “This new initiative involving three leading U.S. companies will help us anticipate and address the needs of the evolving UAS industry.” – Michael Huerta, FAA Administrator