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  #1  
Old 02-06-2012, 09:42 AM
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Default UAV Drones

Given the upcoming mandate, how will the FAA safely integrate drones into the airspace? Since gyros, ultralights, PPGs, etc. hug the ground for the most part, I find this as a safety issue as they would be nearly impossible to see.

http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2012/02/faa_drones.html
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:07 AM
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The driver behind all this is law enforcement agencies that want UAVs, and the companies itching to sell them $100K R/C helicopters. They'll be used for surveillance, routinely in urban areas below 400' AGL, or in remote areas where an element of surprise is a tactical advantage. They won't generally be flown cross-country, and rarely over sparsely populated areas.

Theoretically, a UAV being flown over a more than a mile from an airport below 400' AGL over a populated area has at least a 100' altitude buffer from any manned aircraft being flown legally. I suspect that in areas close to airports, known operating areas for low-flying aircraft activity, UAVs above 400' AGL, or other circumstances where a collision is likely, ADS-B will be expected to provide the protection.

A bigger question going forward than collision prevention will be what this does to the job market for rotorcraft pilots. The biggest offender for helicopter noise complaints in urban areas (and an expenditure that's constantly under scrutiny) is news and police helicopters loitering for long periods over residential areas. I would expect these two missions to quickly go to cheap, quiet UAVs as soon as it's allowed.

Regarding Part 103 specifically, I won't be surprised if there will be a lower level of official concern about collisions, since they're not officially aircraft. There could even be more restrictions on where you can fly one. There's a LOT of political and economic pressure being brought to bear on getting UAVs cleared to share the airspace.
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2012, 10:23 AM
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Not in Los Angeles, Faa said not just no but hell no.

Loss of signal & other failures indanger the public.

Could you see a 40 lbs of food processer droping on your head?
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PW_Plack View Post
Theoretically, a UAV being flown over a more than a mile from an airport below 400' AGL over a populated area has at least a 100' altitude buffer from any manned aircraft being flown legally.
Not quite - don't forget about helicopters.

We're also a long ways from ADS-B being required for a lot of stuff, and even then it won't be all operations - so not a great solution either.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:58 AM
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As a former Georgia State Trooper, pilot, and 30 year AVID RC'er... I detest the idea of UAV's being made available to anyone other than the military, except of course, the micro-jobs that you can hold in your hand.

There will be aircraft all over the place that won't have the luxury of a pair of human eyes that can dart all over the sky 2 or 3 times per second. See-and-avoid will be a worthless concept.

VFR flight will be much more dangerous. All VFR flights have to climb and descend through the airspace these heavy robots will be occupying.

This doesn't even take into account the dangers to persons and property on the ground.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:17 PM
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Unmanned UAVs are the future. No doubt.


Rotorcraft are, arguably, the most inefficient type of vehicle there is.
Their gross-weight will be significantly reduced by the removal of the pilot and his support equipment. In addition, the craft can have better aerodynamics without the pilot.


As for armed rotorcraft, consider SWARM;
Surveillance and Weapon with Advanced Remote Monitoring
MIT Aerospace Controls Laboratory UAV SWARM Health Management Project

IMHO, Dennis Fetters sees the future. He has picked the product and he has picked the country.


Dave
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brett s View Post
Not quite - don't forget about helicopters...
Brett, good catch, but I don't envision much of a future for manned helicopters below 500' AGL in populated areas after UAVs become common. One of the exceptions might be helicopter ambulance.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillberg View Post
Loss of signal & other failures indanger the public.
Could you see a 40 lbs of food processer droping on your head?
Don, watch what happens over time, especially as UAVs develop a better safety record than manned helicopters. The new ones can be programmed to execute autonomous missions, including return home if the link is lost. If it means getting rid of the racket, residents will be willing to take the chance.
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2012, 07:14 PM
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Here's the bad part. The reason I am saying this is a Law was passed a few months ago, I think called the civilian terrorist act. That makes it legal for the military to arrest anyone for any reason, not charge them, hold them indefinitely and execute them if they want too. I didn't believe this untill I was talking to a friend who is on leave from the army for several more days and told me this is the truth. He also told me he wouldn't be part of this as he has a family and doesn't want to be shot by civilians protecting their freedom. I believe that the drones are being allowed to kill us if nessary.

Last edited by gyronutjoe; 02-07-2012 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:19 PM
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Oh, I forgot, he gave me details on what they could and can't do. There isn't any (can't) The military has total authority and by this law can come into your house and.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:20 PM
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My daughter just graduated from Army UAV flight school, and one of the questions asked was about UAV in flight zones. Bottom line is they fly in restricted air space, such as the US Mexico boarder, not in civilian air space.


.The small ones that police agencies are looking at are in the small RC hobbyist aircraft class.

Last edited by Sheldon; 02-07-2012 at 04:24 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2012, 12:06 PM
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A Swarm of Nano Quadrotors - YouTube

Next the senses; Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell, (and Taste?), combined with Artificial Intelligence.

That taste awful.


Very Darwinian.
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  #13  
Old 02-09-2012, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PW_Plack View Post
The new ones can be programmed to execute autonomous missions, including return home if the link is lost.
Just like this one? (I think there's a bit more work to be done . . .)
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  #14  
Old 02-09-2012, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaspAir View Post
Just like this one? (I think there's a bit more work to be done . . .)
Perhaps it just depends on which country or religion is controlling its 'intelligence' at the time?
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyronutjoe View Post
Here's the bad part. The reason I am saying this is a Law was passed a few months ago, I think called the civilian terrorist act. That makes it legal for the military to arrest anyone for any reason, not charge them, hold them indefinitely and execute them if they want too. I didn't believe this untill I was talking to a friend who is on leave from the army for several more days and told me this is the truth. He also told me he wouldn't be part of this as he has a family and doesn't want to be shot by civilians protecting their freedom. I believe that the drones are being allowed to kill us if nessary.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gyronutjoe View Post
Oh, I forgot, he gave me details on what they could and can't do. There isn't any (can't) The military has total authority and by this law can come into your house and.
Perhaps you're thinking of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. It is much more complex, and not so broad as you've been told, but in any event, there's a discussion of it here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationa...scal_Year_2012
that will give you some insight into what it does and doesn't do, as a starting point for you to explore.
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