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Old March 30th, 2015, 09:41 PM   #16
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Re: Amazon drones in the UK?

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Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
For non pilots, TCAS is Traffic Collision and Avoidance System and relies on the transponder that all aircraft are required to have if they operate in controlled airspace. It's the device that makes your plane's tail number/flight number and altitude to be displayed on a controller's secondary radar screen. But in the last few decades, those same transponders have allowed the TCAS system to warn pilots of an impending collision. Even if the UAS couldn't transmit, but only receive a much stronger beacon from a full sized aircraft, they could 'get out of the way' and it wouldn't really be necessary for the flight crew to know the UAS was even there. The receiver could be made quite small, it's transmitting a signal that requires much more power and thus, larger, heavier circuitry.

-gb-
That's not exactly correct. Transponders don't broadcast the tail number. Also most full size planes don't have TCAS its only required on aircraft above 33,000 pounds and/or more than 30 passenger seats. So even if drones had TCAS that wouldn't be particularly helpful. Also, requiring TCAS on drones would probably set the technology back a decade. Could you imagine how many false alarms resulting from erroneous operation there would be?

Most of the litigation over the past year had to do with defining the FAA's authority and although its authority goes from an inch or so above the ground up, the floor of the NAS is mostly around 500' So if sUAS stays below 500' and airplanes above, there is very little reason for "see and avoid" technology. Also be aware that there's a big difference between "see and avoid" and "collision avoidance."

The FAA could establish victor airways between cities, at specific altitudes where delivery drones can fly for higher quantity payload delivery. For local delivery the sUAS rules would apply. Whatever they decide, with the recent NPRM the FAA took a step in the right direction and have established a framework that should allow for development to start.
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Old March 31st, 2015, 12:01 AM   #17
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Re: Amazon drones in the UK?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding View Post
That's not exactly correct. Transponders don't broadcast the tail number. Also most full size planes don't have TCAS its only required on aircraft above 33,000 pounds and/or more than 30 passenger seats. So even if drones had TCAS that wouldn't be particularly helpful. Also, requiring TCAS on drones would probably set the technology back a decade. Could you imagine how many false alarms resulting from erroneous operation there would be?

Most of the litigation over the past year had to do with defining the FAA's authority and although its authority goes from an inch or so above the ground up, the floor of the NAS is mostly around 500' So if sUAS stays below 500' and airplanes above, there is very little reason for "see and avoid" technology. Also be aware that there's a big difference between "see and avoid" and "collision avoidance."

The FAA could establish victor airways between cities, at specific altitudes where delivery drones can fly for higher quantity payload delivery. For local delivery the sUAS rules would apply. Whatever they decide, with the recent NPRM the FAA took a step in the right direction and have established a framework that should allow for development to start.
Correct. I didn't state that very clearly. It's your transponder's assigned squawk code that the controller tags with your aircraft's identity. But it's still the transponder that makes the feat possible on the controller's screen. Maybe that's not a practical solution for UAS operating below 500 agl. I'm just imagining ways to alleviate the fears expressed by pilots of manned aircraft. See this example.

RAW VIDEO: Drone near Chopper 7, March 16, 2015 | www.kirotv.com

And BTW, the operator of the UAS was visited by the FAA and cleared. He had video proof of his own that he was nowhere near the news choppers and he yielded the airspace to them when they arrived on scene.

When I flew model airplanes in the early 1990's, there was no perceived threat to privacy or other aviation because there were no onboard cameras or telemetry. I had to keep the model in sight and close enough to not lose control signals. Now, with just several hundred dollars, anyone can fly a model so sophisticated that they can take it way up into the NAS and have a first person view with telemetry overlays like in the example above. I only say this because it still boggles my mind how far we have advanced the art in just a few decades.
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