FAA Allows Test Sites to Fly UAS Below 200 Feet

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released new regulations for flying Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Under the new broad area Certificate of Authorization (COA), small UAS weighing less than 55 lbs. can be flown up to 200 feet above ground level nearly anywhere in the country. The flights must be conducted in partnership with one of the seven FAA test sites during daylight and maintain visual line of sight with a pilot.

UAS companies are still required to partner with a test site and each test site will conduct safety and airworthiness checks on the UAS being flown. However, the flight locations are not restricted to the test site’s regional footprint.

Read more about the impact of the FAA’s newest COA on the UASTS here

Metal Rebel Tests Its Mettle

UNLV is among 25 of the world’s best robotics teams competing in the 2015 U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Challenge Finals, an elite competition of robots and their human supervisors, June 5-6 at the Fairplex in Pomona, Calif.

Metal Rebel at DRC Trials in Pomona (Photo Courtesy of UNLV)

With $3.5 million cash prize on the line, teams from academia, industry, and the private sector will test their robots with the goal of deployment as first responders in a disaster zone such as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor incident.

UNLV’s Metal Rebel — a 5-foot-5-inch, 175-pound humanoid robot – will test its mettle against the likes of MIT, NASA and Lockheed Martin in a simulated one-hour course. With little or no human intervention, Metal Rebel will need to drive a vehicle, climb stairs, traverse debris-filled terrain, turn valves, and use power tools.

UNLV’s student/faculty team is led by Paul Oh, Lincy Professor of Unmanned Aerial Systems and a renowned expert in robotics and autonomous systems. Oh is a former program director for robotics at the National Science Foundation and is helping UNLV and Nevada become a national leader in the autonomous systems industry. Joining UNLV on the team are students and one professor from Kookmin University in Seoul, Korea, as well as professionals from robotics company Praxis Aerospace.

Read the full article from the UNLV Campus News here .