FAA Regulations Commentary from Jason San Souci – Principal Solutions Architect

April 15, 2019

Jason San Souci, our Principal Solutions Architect and Remote Sensing Scientist, has been working with advanced applications for commercial UAS for the last 6 years.His comment is in response to the following question posed by the FAA at www.regulations.gov, adding a caveat to the line of thinking related to setting operational ceilings for advanced payloads: B2. If the FAA were to establish additional operating or performance limitations for only certain types of small UAS operations, what types of small UAS operations should require additional operating or performance limitations, what should they be, and why? There are certain advanced remote sensing payloads that require low-level flight (within 10m of the ground) for proper data collection. These payloads (Magnetometers, Ground Penetrating Radar, Bathymetric LiDAR, etc.) are typically operated from UAS platforms that are under the 55-lbs weight limit and often utilize a current LiDAR Digital Surface Model to maintain a safe standoff distance from any ground obstacle. Commercial drone operators that specialize in operating advanced payloads require specialized training from the payload manufacturers in safe and secure operations. Please do not place an altitude floor on commercial UAS operations as they do not introduce new public safety or national security concerns.