Nine suppliers of unmanned air vehicles gathered in a remote area of the sprawling Kennedy Space Center complex in Florida on 11 May to show how certain missions currently banned by US regulators can be performed safely with existing technology.
“The exposure is always good,” says Pat Lohman, chief operating officer of Toronto-based PrecisionHawk, which contributed the 3lb (1.36kg), Lancaster Mk3 UAV. “We wanted to prove we could use autonomy safely,” Lohman says.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is required by law to formulate rules that would open national airspace to small UAVs for commercial purposes. Hobbyists are allowed to fly sometimes identical remote-controlled aircraft without restrictions, but the FAA prohibits access to national airspace for commercial reasons.
AUVSI partnered with Space Florida – the state’s aerospace economic development agency based at Kennedy Space Center – to hold a demonstration aimed at showing regulators and the public how small UAVs can be operated safely.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com