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FAA to Develop Drone Collision Risk Mitigation Requirements Based on ASSURE Report

The Federal Aviation Administration plans to establish new requirements for drones to help mitigate collision and operational risks based on the results of a study released by the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence.

A research team at ASSURE performed computer simulations and physical tests to examine potential damage to a manned aircraft in the event of a collision with a small unmanned aerial system and found that drone collisions inflicted more structural damage to the aircraft than bird strikes, FAA said Tuesday.

The sUAS Air-to-Air Collision Severity Evaluation Final Report also pointed to the drone’s stiffness as well as velocity and projectile mass as principal drivers of impact damage to the aircraft.

Researchers also examined the potential impact of drone collisions on the manned aircraft’s windshields, horizontal and vertical stabilizers and wing leading edges as well as the severity level of structural damage posed by unmanned aerial systems to the aircraft’s engine components and airframe.

The study also concluded that drone manufacturers should help reduce collision risks with other aircraft through the integration of “geo-fencing” and “detect-and-avoid” functionalities into their unmanned platforms.

FAA said ASSURE researchers intend to conduct more studies on collisions between drones and helicopters and other types of aircraft.

Mississippi State University oversees ASSURE that was selected by FAA in May 2015 as a UAS center of excellence.

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