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Drones Still Face Major Hurdles In US Airspace 166

coondoggie writes "Communications and effective system control are still big challenges unmanned aircraft developers are facing if they want unfettered access to U.S. airspace. Those were just a couple of the conclusions described in a recent Government Accountability Office report on the status of unmanned aircraft (PDF) and the national airspace. The bottom line for now seems to be that while research and development efforts are under way to mitigate obstacles to safe and routine integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace, these efforts cannot be completed and validated without safety, reliability, and performance standards, which have not yet been developed because of data limitations." The FAA and others seem mostly concerned about the drones hitting things if their GPS and ground communications are both disrupted.
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Drones Still Face Major Hurdles In US Airspace

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  • I am a UAV pilot... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @02:03PM (#42957041)

    The only UAV that's close to airworthy is Northrop's billion dollar disaster of the Global Hawk. Of course, airworthiness is a big part of the reason that they cost $50M apiece. None of the rest of the UAVs are airworthy. Not even remotely. They all have severe design flaws that render them reasonable only for overwater, over the ocean, or combat zones. None of them are designed with the rigour or safety focus that's required for a small airplane, much less something that's in commercial service. All of them have software single point of failure problems that will cause them to crash in an unpredictable place.Triton and the Global Hawk will, at least, crash in a pre-planned, surveyed spot. None of the rest.

    I see no reason to allow anything over 55 lbs to fly unless it's designed to the same level of safety and airworthiness as "real airplanes", because the physics works the same way when it hits you. I'm not saying "no" to UAV's, but start over and do it right.

  • Re:How about no? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @02:28PM (#42957275) Homepage

    And this is not even considering privacy and security implications

    You seem to be forgetting the War on Terror, Copyright Infringement and Human Rights, citizen.

    Please report to your nearest re-education center.

    We have always been at war with Eastasia.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.