The FAA aims to delegate authority to the six national unmanned aircraft system (UAS) test ranges it has chosen to issue their own experimental airworthiness certificates to manufacturers to test fly aircraft. The North Dakota test range, which planned to begin operations this week as the first range to receive an FAA certificate of authorization (COA), expects to eventually have two designated airworthiness representatives.
The U.S. Navy recently ordered five more MQ-8C Fire Scouts, bringing to 19 the number of Bell 407-based unmanned helicopters it plans to buy from Northrop Grumman. But the Fire Scout program faces scrutiny by Congress for cost overruns.
The U.S. Navy released a draft request for proposal (RFP) for the unmanned carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike system (UClass) air segment to four contractors on April 17. The service expects to release a final RFP later this year.
A nonprofit search-and-rescue organization has asked a federal court to review an FAA order that it stop using a model aircraft to assist in its search efforts. Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search & Recovery, based in Dickinson, Texas, filed a petition for review of the order in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on April 21.
The FAA granted a certificate of authorization (COA) yesterday to the North Dakota Department of Commerce to fly the Draganflyer X4-ES quadcopter at the Northern Plains unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test range, the first of six national UAS test sites to begin operations. This two-year COA marks the first authorization from the FAA for a UAS test site.
Embry-Riddle Worldwide University will offer a workshop on unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in San Diego, Calif., on April 24 and 25. Faculty with specific UAS operations and research experience will teach the workshop. Topics include an introduction to and discussion of the impact of UAS, design issues, legislation, certification and regulation, applications, operational profiles, business opportunities and the future of UAS. Continuing education units are available.
The U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned maritime surveillance aircraft is progressing through its flight-test program, but still without a “sense-and-avoid” system that would protect against collisions with other aircraft. The program office said it is taking a “layered approach” to meeting the requirement until it finds a technology solution.
The Grand Forks, N.D., Sheriff’s Department announced in late March that it has received FAA authorization to fly unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) throughout its jurisdiction at night, making it the first law enforcement agency in the U.S. to gain such authorization.
The first UAV Payloads conference will be held in London on June 24 and 25 with a focus on capabilities such as SIGINT/EW (signals intelligence/electronic warfare) and search and rescue, as well as applications involving electro-optical/infra-red (EO/OR) sensors for medium- and high-altitude long endurance (MALE and HALE) aircraft.
Europe’s first purpose-built center for UAV research activities has opened in Spain. Known as Atlas (air traffic laboratory for advanced unmanned systems), the facility was officially opened on March 21 by the president of Andalucía, Susana Díaz, whose regional government has funded much of the €4.5 million implementation of the project from EU allocations. Additional funding has come from national government, and the site has been developed in close cooperation with potential customers, such as Boeing.