How to Prepare a Drone for Commercial Use

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A Predator drone operated by U.S. Office of Air and Marine (OAM), taxis towards the tarmac for a surveillance flight near the Mexican border on March 7, 2013 from Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, AZ.
From and

Big news for the world of drones came late last month when the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it was authorizing sites in 10 states to carry out drone aircraft testing.

That means 2014 will be the year when drone safety standards, pilot training, certification, and other policies are shaped ahead of the 2015 target Congress has has set for integrating drones into the nation’s airspace.

One of the sites where testing will take place is at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Jon Greene is Interim Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, which is leading testing for Virginia Tech and Rutgers. He explains what considerations his team must make as they prepare drones for commercial use. 

Mechanical engineering student Kenneth Kroeger (left) of Hunt Valley, Md., and Anthony Distefano, a technician with American Aerospace Advisors Inc., prepare a 250-pound, autonomous helicopter for a research mission.

( Jon Greene )

 

Kevin Kochersberger (right), a pilot and an associate professor of engineering at Virginia Tech, works with David Reed, an extension agronomist, to find ways to help farmers monitor the condition of their crops. 
Kevin Kochersberger (right), a pilot and an associate professor of engineering at Virginia Tech, works with David Reed, an extension agronomist, to find ways to help farmers monitor the condition of their crops. 

 

( Jon Greene )

 

David Schmale, an associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, uses aerial vehicles in his studies of microbial life in the atmosphere.
David Schmale, an associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, uses aerial vehicles in his studies of microbial life in the atmosphere.

 

( Jon Greene )

 

Students from area schools take part in a rocketry demonstration at Kentland Experimental Aerial Systems Laboratory, which serves as the base for the Virginia Center for Autonomous Systems at Virginia Tech.
Students from area schools take part in a rocketry demonstration at Kentland Experimental Aerial Systems Laboratory, which serves as the base for the Virginia Center for Autonomous Systems at Virginia Tech.

 

( Jon Greene )

 

Craig Woolsey, an associate professor in the College of Engineering, works with students to advance new uses of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Craig Woolsey, an associate professor in the College of Engineering, works with students to advance new uses of unmanned aerial vehicles.

 

( Jon Greene )

 

Jon Greene is the interim director of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and associate director of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science.
Jon Greene is the interim director of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and associate director of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science.

 

( Jon Greene )
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