The UASSC committee is working to apply existing standards, and identify new ones needed, for the US c-drone ecosystem. Image:ANSI/UASSC

US standards org ANSI publishes c-drone working draft for public comment

Policy • regulations • airspace

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has released for public review and comment the working draft of its overview and recommendations for US c-drone standards. The Standardization Roadmap for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, version 1.0 [Microsoft Word format only], was prepared over the past year by the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative (UASSC) committee, founded in 2017 and composed of 400 participants, with the following sponsors:

The first 30 pages of the 200+ page document lists 57 problem areas, called gaps, where no published standards or technical specifications exist. In each case there are recommendations and one or more standards developing organizations (SDOs) listed. Over half of the gaps are defined as high priority, and only three as low priority. Each gap is tagged with a code and is grouped in one of the following themes:

  • Airworthiness
  • Flight operations – general topics
  • Flight operations – infrastructure inspection and commercial services
  • Flight operations – public safety
  • Personnel qualifications, certification and training

Among the gaps listed are: Detect and Avoid Systems (A8), Crash Protected Airborne Recorder Systems (A10), Parachute or Drag Chute as a Hazard Mitigation Over People (A16), Privacy (O1), Remote ID and Tracking: Direct Broadcast (O8), UAS Operations and Weather (O5), Inspection of Building Facades using Drones (I3), Inspection of Power Transmission Lines (I9), Pesticide Application (I10), Counter-UAS/Drone Operations (S9), and Displays and Controls (P7).

The goal of the UASSC group is not to develop new standards, but to identify needs where existing standards need to be modified or new ones created, thus avoiding inefficiencies such as duplicate efforts in the traditionally slow process of achieving consensus-built industrial standards. Among the committee’s stated goals are identification of pre-standardization research and development (R&D) — necessary in 36 cases — and international coordination and adaptability, defined as a coherent and coordinated US policy at the international level, specifically the International Civil Aviation Organization Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Panel (ICAO-RPASP) and the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS).

ANSI’s public commenting period runs to October 29, 2018. An online form [Microsoft Word format] and instructions [PDF] are available. The next version is expected to be published at the end of the year.