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Technical Center Signs


Agreement to Research Unmanned Aircraft Systems


The Federal Aviation Administration’s William J. Hughes Technical Center has established a cooperative research and development agree- ment with Insitu Inc., of Bingen, Washington, and the New Jersey Air National Guard to study unmanned aircraft sys- tems (UAS) and to address their integration into the national airspace system (NAS). Insitu Inc., a wholly owned, independent subsidiary of The Boeing Company, will provide two ScanEagle aircraft and their related support hardware and data to the FAA. The FAA will conduct research to guide devel- opment of recommendations for integrating unmanned aircraft systems into the national air- space system. The research will be managed by the FAA’s Research and Technology Development office and con- ducted at the Technical Center. The two-year agreement will


enable FAA scientists to study and better understand UAS design, construction and func- tionality. Also, researchers will look at the differences in how an air traffic controller would manage an unmanned aircraft vs. a manned aircraft, by inte-


grating the ScanEagle system into Technical Center air traffic control simulations and studies. Insitu will train FAA pilots and support staff to fly and maintain the system, and will supply documentation related to the ScanEagle system. The flight-testing will take place over the New Jersey Air National Guard’s Warren Grove Range, 20 miles north of the Technical Center. UAS now fly within the national airspace system under certificates of authorization, or FAA waivers. The waiver process is issued for public entities and determined on a case-by-case basis, with most UAS operations segregated from other air traf- fic. More than 1,500 types of UAS are in production world- wide, so it is important to establish the parameters to enable them to operate within the NAS, safely and efficiently. UAS are cleared to fly in


restricted airspace, including the military airspace at Warren Grove Range, owned and oper- ated by the New Jersey Air National Guard.


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