The Federal Aviation Administration has tasked ASSURE (the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence) with determining what is needed to enable small, unmanned aircraft to do limited long range flights.
“I can imagine 1,000 different ways that someone could fly but there are some ways that people are actually operating and we want to get that information,” said Henry Cathey, a NMSU professor and one of the lead researchers on the project.
They are interested in getting flight data and use cases that flesh out the ways people are using unmanned aircraft to accomplish tasks, Cathey said. They would like information on any type of application including activities such as search and rescue, pipeline monitoring, photography, infrastructure inspection, agricultural remote sensing, wildlife assessment, ice spotting and livestock management—plus any other applications operators would like them to consider. Anyone can submit cases or flight data including international firms.
This is a very substantial undertaking which will yield a rich data set. Easy to imagine it becoming a global resource for best practices. This is a very solid article as well which takes an in-depth look of some of the areas ASSURE will be studying including Sense and Avoid as well as the potential for ADS-B and TCAS (the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System) to support UAS.