Steer Clear from Military Bases if You Want to Keep Your Drone (and Yourself) Out of Trouble

Steer Clear from Military Bases if You Want to Keep Your Drone (and Yourself) Out of Trouble

By Thomas Nguyen

There has been a growing security concern posed by drones, especially in light of increased use by both private citizens and companies. With the aim of keeping personnel and equipment safe in connection with its domestic military bases, the Pentagon recently issued classified rules that provide guidance to the U.S. military on how to deal with private and commercial drones that are found flying over or around its domestic military bases.

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Trump Administration Launches Review of U.S. Export Policy on Military Drones

Trump Administration Launches Review of U.S. Export Policy on Military Drones

By Melissa Miller Proctor

As has been reported recently by Defense News, the Trump Administration has launched a formal review of the current policy on U.S. military drone exports, which was rolled out under President Obama in February 2015. U.S. manufacturers are hoping that the Trump Administration may be considering relaxing controls on international sales of military Unmanned Aerial Systems (“UAS”) to key allies and strategic partners around the world. For years, industry has argued that the current controls on military UAS have put U.S. manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace.

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Army Drops DJI Citing Cybersecurity Concerns

Army Drops DJI Citing Cybersecurity Concerns

By Thomas L. Gemmell

According to a Department of Defense memorandum referenced by sUAS News, the U.S. Army and Navy have concluded that there are cybersecurity risks associated with using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or “drones,” manufactured by Dajiang Innovation (DJI), the world’s most prolific developer and manufacturer of commercial and hobby drones. Citing research memoranda by the Army Research Laboratory, DJI UAS Technology Threat and User Vulnerabilities, dated 24 May 2017, and Navy, Operational Risks With Regards to DJI Family of Products, dated 24 May 2017, the Army directed the Service to discontinue all uses of DJI products, including “all DJI UAS and any system that employs DJI electrical components or software including, but not limited to, flight computers, cameras, radios, batteries, speed controllers, GSS units, handheld control stations, or devices with DJI software applications installed.” The ban is significant given that the Army had "issued over 300 separate Airworthiness Releases for DJI products in support of multiple organizations with a variety of mission sets.” Without going into detail, the Army noted that the order was “Due to increased awareness of cyber vulnerabilities associated with DJI products.”

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FAA Establishes Committee to Develop Rules for Identifying UAS Vehicles

FAA Establishes Committee to Develop Rules for Identifying UAS Vehicles

By Bradley R. Gardner

As the number of unmanned aircraft operating in the skies continues to increase, it has become critical that authorities be capable of identifying the owner or operator of a UAS vehicle that is being operated in an unsafe or illegal manner. Unlike traditional aircraft, there are currently no rules or even guidance for requiring UAS vehicles to electronically broadcast identifying information. In order to come up with a solution, in late June the Federal Aviation Administration created an Aviation Rulemaking Committee tasked with: Identifying and recommending technologies for remote identification and tracking of UAS vehicles, identifying requirements for meeting the security and public safety needs of government agencies, including law enforcement, for remotely identifying and tracking UAS vehicles, and evaluating the feasibility and affordability of the potential solutions, and determining how well those potential solutions address the needs of the relevant government agencies. Committee members include representatives from more than 70 stakeholders, including manufacturers, UAS operators, law enforcement agencies, and research groups. A full list of the Committee members can be found on the FAA's website.
 

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FAA In Search of a Legal Basis For Drone Registration

FAA In Search of a Legal Basis For Drone Registration

By Thomas L. Gemmell

At the end of 2015, the FAA required those operating small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“sUAS”) used for other than commercial purposes to register the UAS and affix a registration number on the aircraft. The registration requirement emerged from an increase in the number of reported near misses involving UAS and was to facilitate the tracking of those who violated general aviation rules and regulations. 

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