ASTM International starts work on BVLOS drone delivery standards

ASTM International’s committee on unmanned aircraft systems (F38) has held a meeting at Virginia Tech that included significant progress in standards development and live demonstrations.

“Industry leaders and users in the drone community attended this meeting, and they made huge strides in launching new efforts, advancing existing efforts, and revising standards that were already in place,” says Philip Kenul, senior vice president of aviation and operations at TriVector Services, Inc., and vice chair of the committee. “As drones are used more and more by businesses and consumers, these standards will play an increasingly crucial role.”

As a result of the meeting, the committee is launching work on six new standards related to: detect-and-avoid technologies (acoustic-based and non-acoustic-based), fuel cell design, business operations manuals, maintenance technician qualification-and-certification, and beyond visual line-of-sight package delivery.

The committee also made progress on a variety of drafts of standards that include: operations-over-people, vertiport designs, pilot and observer training, and design, construction, and verification of fixed-wing systems. The group finalized parachute systems standards for sUAS (small unmanned aircraft systems) and there were live demonstrations of such systems. In addition, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted a demonstration of test methods for aerial response UAS and operators.

The committee continued to work on enhancing existing standards including safely-bound flight behaviour and began developing use-case scenarios for package delivery, critical infrastructure inspection, and emergency response.

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