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FAA: University Consortium Examines UAS Collision Risks

A consortium of universities has conducted a study on potential injuries that unmanned aircraft systems could cause in case of collision with people on the ground.

The Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence, or ASSURE, identified blunt force trauma, penetration injuries and lacerations as the three dominant injury types that could result from a drone-human collision, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday.

ASSURE reviewed methods used to assess these injury types as part of the study.

The group also identified potentially hazardous drone features; studied 300 publications from the automotive industry and consumer battery market; and reviewed toy standards and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s database.

The consortium completed the studies through crash tests, dynamic modeling and analyses related to kinetic energy, energy transfer and crash dynamics, FAA noted.

Officials from NASA, the Defense Department, FAA and other subject matter experts ran a peer review of ASSURE’s findings.

ASSURE started its research in September 2015 and will begin the second phase of the study in June 2017 to explore the risks of drone collisions with aircraft.

The alliance represents 23 research institutions and 100 industry and government partners and includes the University of Alabama-Huntsville; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Mississippi State University; and the University of Kansas.

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