Identifying Challenges and Prioritizing Improvements is the Mission of the Drone Advisory Committee Under New Chairman Houston Mills
A member of the Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) since its inception in 2016, Houston Mills has recently been appointed its chairman, continuing its mission to safely integrate Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) into the National Air Space (NAS). Much like RTCA, the DAC brings together a variety of entities to engage in actively contributing to consensus-based recommendations that are provided to FAA.
“The DAC’s multi-stakeholder composition puts us in a unique position to capture multiple perspectives from the foundational level and help ensure nothing is missed in the regulation forming process,” said Houston.
The challenges Houston sees begin with gaining public acceptance and trust, which he believes is vital to long-term sustainability, as well as ensuring regulations and policies are centered around safety and security. With that as the basis, new users will be able to readily adopt key aspects of safety culture ingrained in traditional aviation. Houston also sees ongoing education campaigns as a part of the process that should ensure public trust continues to grow.
“I applaud the FAA’s risk-based approach of integrating new users into the NAS by ensuring needed performance standards are in place to ensure public safety and long-term success,” said Houston.
The work of the DAC is determined by tasks outlined by the FAA, which tell the DAC the targeted areas the FAA has selected that need further exploration and recommendations. These include: remote identification equipage, UAS Security (geofencing capabilities that will reduce security risks and the creation of a database that will help with critical infrastructure and Temporary Flight Restrictions), improvements to the waiver process, FAA/UAS plan reviews, facility map updates, Beyond Visual Line of Sight challenges, safety culture (including situational awareness), what constitutes acceptable risk, and other factors in integrating UAS.
Ensuring safety in the NAS a mission former fighter pilot and current 757/767 captain Houston feels passionate about, saying, “I’m excited to support this industry because of the promise and innovation it will unlock. This technology is already improving and saving lives via humanitarian relief efforts, search and rescue missions, fire-fighting, and will greatly benefit society by doing the dull (agriculture, mining, mapping), dangerous (powerline/bridge inspections), and dirty (first responders, police) jobs done by humans today.
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RTCA’s Program Management Committee approves release of one new document and four Errata:
DO-377A – Minimum Aviation System Performance Standards for C2 Link Systems Supporting Operations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in U.S. Airspace, presented by SC-228, Minimum Performance Standards for Unmanned Aircraft System.
This document contains the Minimum Aviation System Performance Standards (MASPS) for a C2 Link System connecting a Control Station (CS) and an Unmanned Aircraft (UA). This MASPS contains the standards which specify system characteristics, but it is design and frequency band independent. It is intended to be used by UAS operators, UAS Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), C2 Link Service Providers, plus the FAA. Version A updates the original document to provide full analysis for additional use cases not provided in the initial release. This document now provides system performance requirements for Ku and Ka band SATCOM based C2 Link Systems. It contains new material on service level agreements as well as a methodology and an example for how to conduct a link budget analysis
DO-362 Errata 2 – Command and Control (C2) Data Link Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS), presented by SC-228, Minimum Performance Standards for Unmanned Aircraft System.
This Errata restores a table inadvertently excluded from the original document.
DO-365B Errata – Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for Detect and Avoid (DAA) Systems, presented by SC-228, Minimum Performance Standards for Unmanned Aircraft System.
This Errata corrects a publication error that inadvertently omitted a portion of Appendix H.
DO-262F Errata – Minimum Operational Performance Standards for Avionics Supporting Next Generation Satellite Systems (NGSS), presented by SC-222, Aeronautical Mobile Satellite (Route) Services (AMS(R)S)
This Errata added “or DFL” in sections E.188.8.131.52.4 and E.184.108.40.206.6 in DO-262F to correct inconsistencies between the valid equipment combinations listed in Table E-4 and the transceiver descriptions in the aforementioned sections.
SC-239 White Paper Errata – Assessment of C-Band Mobile Telecommunications Interference Impact on Low Range Radar Altimeter Operations, presented by SC-239 Low-Range Radar Altimeter.
There was a transcript error on a longitude shown in Table 8-2 of the White Paper for one of the base stations used in the analysis. After checking the analysis, it was determined the number was only a transcript error and was not incorrect in the analysis.
Additionally, three special committees (SCs) received approval for changes to their work plans. These are SC-227– Standards of Navigation Performance; SC-228 – Minimum Performance Standards for Unmanned Aircraft System; and SC-234 – Portable Electronic Devices (PEDS).
|Airworthiness Security Certification||September 27-30, 11am-5pm est.|
|Safety Management Systems (SMS) Overview||October 11-14, 1pm-5pm est.|
|DO-160G, Environmental Testing||October 25-29, 11am-5pm est. / December 6-10, 11am-5pm est.|
|DO-254, Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware||December 7-10, 11am-5pm est.|
|DO-178C, Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment w/Supplements||December 13-17, 11am-5pm est.|
Free RTCA Webinar: Innovation and U.S. Airport Infrastructure / September 29, 1pm ET / REGISTER
Airports are increasingly reliant on technology and innovation to meet the needs of the communities they serve and those of their airline and other commercial partners. Join RTCA and airport leaders for a discussion of how airports are embracing new technologies and utilizing them in concert with physical infrastructure to enhance customer experiences, enhance safety and security, and improve sustainability and operational efficiency.
Free RTCA Webinar: UAS – Routine Operations in Controlled Airspace / October 20, 1pm ET / DETAILS
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