Proliferation Of UAVs In Limited Airspace

Proliferation of UAVs in Limited Airspace

A 2004 report by the U.S. Defense Science Board concludes that the sheer number of different unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) systems in development, both in the U.S. and worldwide, is outstripping the ability to evolve standards and approaches for common mission management. Another concern is how UAVs, needed for border patrol, public event security, search and rescue or gas pipeline monitoring, can operate safely in airspace already crowded with thousands of passenger and general aviation flights. Europe has taken the lead in this area, with a Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) UAV Task Force report issued in 2004, the culmination of a 10-year planning process involving the 34-nation European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL). The report lays out requirements for civil UAV operation in Europe. According to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), UAVs will need certified traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) capability, at a minimum, to satisfy the Federal Aviation Admin. (FAA), before unencumbered access to the national airspace is possible. The UAV National Industry Team (UNITE), a group of HALE UAV developers working toward full airspace access, has made progress in this area. UNITE, together with the U.S. Department of Defense, has formed a partnership with NASA, known as Access 5, with the goal of achieving NAS access by 2008, which will represent a huge step for commercial UAV growth.