Avionics News December 2013 - 51

Larger UAVs have complex
avionics, as shown by
NASA's Altair (civil version
of the General Atomics
Predator-B).

Photo courtesy of NASA

as manned aircraft do - and those
checks, and related work, will
provide business opportunities for
avionics shops.
Unmanned "drone" aircraft have
been around almost as long as
manned aircraft - arguably longer,
if model airplanes are considered.
Radio control for drones goes
back to the 1930s, and became
popular among hobbyists in the
latter years of the 20th century.
But it was the combination of
GPS-based guidance, highbandwidth communications
(enabling sophisticated sensor
operations) and quiet engines
that revolutionized drones at the
turn of the century. UAVs like
the General Atomics Predator,
Northrop Grumman Global Hawk
and Boeing ScanEagle provide
military and intelligence operators
with platforms that can put highresolution sensors where they're
needed, and keep them there for
hours at a time, without risk to a
human pilot.
While many have suggested
using UAVs for civil purposes,
there are several issues that
need to be resolved before they
can safely share U.S. airspace
with crewed aircraft. The most
obvious is the need for some sort
of substitute for "see and avoid,"
which remains the cornerstone of
flight safety. Even when operating
under instrument flight rules, pilots
are expected to visually acquire
and separate themselves from other
traffic when conditions permit.
That's not generally possible for
a UAV; while it may be equipped
with sensors that outperform the

While many have suggested using UAVs for civil purposes,
there are several issues that need to be resolved before
they can safely share U.S. airspace with crewed aircraft.

human eye, those sensors typically
operate in a limited field of
view. For this reason, the Federal
Aviation Administration generally
requires UAVs to be accompanied
by human spotters, either on the
ground or aboard a chase aircraft.
Indeed, spotting procedures are
usually specified by the special
airworthiness certificate and
certificate of waiver or authorization
required before any UAV can be
operated in U.S. airspace.
The need for human spotters
might be alleviated if a means can be

found by which UAVs can
autonomously "sense and avoid"
other aircraft. This is an area of
active research by the Air Force,
the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, the FAA and a wide
range of university teams. However,
as Dr. Mike Braasch of Ohio
University's Avionics Engineering
Center said, coming up with a
reliable sense-and-avoid system is
proving to be very difficult. "There's
a lot of talk about using ADS-B,
Continued on following page

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Avionics News December 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News December 2013

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View From Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
Beltway Briefing
Want to be Found ... and Legal?
Member Profile
Trig Avionics Ltd.
Avionics News Through the Years
EEDirect
A Conversation With...
Member Profile
Avotek Publishes New AET Study Guide
Civil UAV's
Business Basics
AEA Newsmakers at NBAA Convention
What's New
Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News December 2013 - Intro
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover1
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover2
Avionics News December 2013 - 1
Avionics News December 2013 - 2
Avionics News December 2013 - 3
Avionics News December 2013 - Point of Communication
Avionics News December 2013 - 5
Avionics News December 2013 - AEA Now
Avionics News December 2013 - 7
Avionics News December 2013 - 8
Avionics News December 2013 - 9
Avionics News December 2013 - 10
Avionics News December 2013 - 11
Avionics News December 2013 - 12
Avionics News December 2013 - 13
Avionics News December 2013 - The View From Washington
Avionics News December 2013 - 15
Avionics News December 2013 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News December 2013 - 17
Avionics News December 2013 - 18
Avionics News December 2013 - Beltway Briefing
Avionics News December 2013 - Want to be Found ... and Legal?
Avionics News December 2013 - 21
Avionics News December 2013 - 22
Avionics News December 2013 - 23
Avionics News December 2013 - Member Profile
Avionics News December 2013 - 25
Avionics News December 2013 - 26
Avionics News December 2013 - 27
Avionics News December 2013 - Trig Avionics Ltd.
Avionics News December 2013 - 29
Avionics News December 2013 - 30
Avionics News December 2013 - 31
Avionics News December 2013 - 32
Avionics News December 2013 - 33
Avionics News December 2013 - Avionics News Through the Years
Avionics News December 2013 - 35
Avionics News December 2013 - EEDirect
Avionics News December 2013 - 37
Avionics News December 2013 - 38
Avionics News December 2013 - 39
Avionics News December 2013 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News December 2013 - 41
Avionics News December 2013 - Member Profile
Avionics News December 2013 - 43
Avionics News December 2013 - 44
Avionics News December 2013 - 45
Avionics News December 2013 - Avotek Publishes New AET Study Guide
Avionics News December 2013 - 47
Avionics News December 2013 - 48
Avionics News December 2013 - 49
Avionics News December 2013 - Civil UAV's
Avionics News December 2013 - 51
Avionics News December 2013 - 52
Avionics News December 2013 - 53
Avionics News December 2013 - Business Basics
Avionics News December 2013 - 55
Avionics News December 2013 - 56
Avionics News December 2013 - 57
Avionics News December 2013 - AEA Newsmakers at NBAA Convention
Avionics News December 2013 - 59
Avionics News December 2013 - 60
Avionics News December 2013 - 61
Avionics News December 2013 - 62
Avionics News December 2013 - 63
Avionics News December 2013 - 64
Avionics News December 2013 - 65
Avionics News December 2013 - What's New
Avionics News December 2013 - 67
Avionics News December 2013 - 68
Avionics News December 2013 - 69
Avionics News December 2013 - Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News December 2013 - 71
Avionics News December 2013 - 72
Avionics News December 2013 - 73
Avionics News December 2013 - 74
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover3
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover4
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