Unmanned Research

Unmanned Research


A new organization called Unmanned Research has recently been formed in an effort to address the current void in standardization and approach to legalization of the UAS industry for civilian applications. The FAA has been stagnant for almost a decade regarding a path to legalization, and the industry has been stifled to the point of paralyses for future development. The only game in town has been the DoD with their closed circuit government contractor core working on government accepted platforms that do not necessarily represent the whole of the industry. As a result of the government contracting model and the necessary security with DoD related assets, the technology being funded and allowed to fly has not been able to develop along with other technology fields and is seriously lacking in innovation and domestic application beyond “big brother” type uses.

An entire domestic industry has been artificially stagnated as a result, and innovators of the field have been forced to take advisory roles on application pertaining to DoD contracts or simply operate outside the confines of the United States Airspace. In more cases than not, citizens find themselves operating outside the law when developing new technologies with beneficial application, and only find this out when they go to certify their platform. Countless variants of similar applications are constantly built, abandoned, rediscovered and abandoned again. Critical lessons learned, and opportunities for industry standards have been lost, along with countless man hours.

With the financial constricting of the DoD market due to sequester and cutbacks, more and more industry professionals are finding themselves with the rest of the civilian population, stuck with vast amounts of knowledge and capability with no legal application or career path. That in conjunction with the ground swell of potential civilian operators/enthusiasts points to an undeniable need to organize and legitimize the industry into a legal operating model for NAS integration. Unmanned Research seeks to be a driving force behind the inevitable change and transition in the industry through the unification of efforts into standards and practices that can drive the necessary legislation that will allow all citizens to license and operate their systems.

Unmanned Research’s vision is to:

– Advocate for the legal commercial use of unmanned systems and integration into the National Air Space (NAS)

– Educate and develop outreach programs to the public about UAS use and possible abuse

– Develop safety procedures for UAVs

– Verify safety procedures with real world testing partnering with major Universities and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to provide validation for testing

– Publish findings in the form of white papers and the development of training material, manual templates, and maintenance guidelines

– Provide one on one counseling services (under NDAs if requested) for companies/individuals to vet and test their UAS systems and develop their CONOPs

Additionally Unmanned Research seeks to:

– Advocate for dedicated UAS frequency channels

– Develop RF testing to find best frequencies available

– Partner with Universities to test and evaluate antenna/wireless systems

– Anti hacking testing and FR security

– Study Ground Control Systems (GCSs) human interface factors and recommend best layouts for different applications

While these goals are lofty, they represent a growing need and will be achieved through direct outreach and partnering with local user groups across the nation. When asked how these goals can best be summarized, the organizations founders simply stated that their mission is to: “Advance the use of unmanned technologies for the benefit of humanity”. Unmanned Research has already begun meeting with local user groups and will be forming a non-profit organization that will advocate and organize a grass roots effort to spread awareness and benefits of the technology beyond the “big brother is watching you” mentality that currently permeates the narrative.


Patrick Egan

Editor in Field, sUAS News Americas Desk | Patrick Egan is the editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS News and host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series, Drone TV and the Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition. Experience in the field includes assignments with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab investigating solutions on future warfare research projects. Instructor for LTA (Lighter Than Air) ISR systems deployment teams for an OSD, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Surveillance Project. Built and operated commercial RPA prior to 2007 FAA policy clarification. On the airspace integration side, he serves as director of special programs for the RCAPA (Remote Control Aerial Photography Association).