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B-1 Chapter 1 Chapter 5 Chapter 3 Chapter 7 Chapter 9 Chapter 2 Chapter 6 Chapter 4 Chapter 8 A ppendices A P P E N D I X B To begin understanding UAS and how airports best position to support their operations, a good starting point is the modes of UAS operations and aspects of the operations airport manag- ers should consider during planning. The following modes of UAS operations descriptions are derived from interviews with UAS operators and airport personnel with UAS experience, the operational experience of the research team gained primarily with military UAS units, and from the FAA document: Interim Operational Approval Guidance 08-01 Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in the U.S. National Airspace System. This appendix includes description of several systems used to classify different UAS along with some representative examples. It also covers critical modes or phases of UAS operations with which the airport operator may want to be familiar in order to better ensure smooth introduc- tion and operations. These phases include: â¢ Airfield/site survey and electromagnetic analysis â¢ System deployment and preparation â¢ Ground operations â¢ Taxi operations â¢ Takeoff â¢ Climb out â¢ Navigation to operational areas â¢ Area of operation â¢ Return to base/descent â¢ Landing â¢ Parking and shutdown B-1 Classifying UAS An ever growing variety of unmanned systems provide an increasing number of applications for civilian and military organizations. The UAS come in numerous configurations, sizes, and characteristics. Because of the wide assortment of systems, it is helpful to differentiate between them by breaking them into groups or categories. There are a number of different ways to categorize UAS. The U.S. military uses a tiered clas- sification system based primarily on the mission of the UAS. At the time of primer develop- ment, the FAA was focused on rulemaking for two classes of UAS based on weight: small UAS weighing no more than 55 pounds or 25 kilograms and micro-UAS weighing no more than 4.4 pounds or 2 kilograms. Modes of UAS Operations
B-2 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) at Airports: A Primer Ch ap te r 1 Ch ap te r 5 Ch ap te r 3 Ch ap te r 7 Ch ap te r 9 Ch ap te r 2 Ch ap te r 6 Ch ap te r 4 Ch ap te r 8 A pp en di ce s In a course entitled Geospatial Applications of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) offered by Penn State University, a course unit on âClassification of the Unmanned Aerial Systemsâ states that there is . . . no one standard when it comes to the classification of UAS. . . . Defense agencies have their own standard, and civilians have their ever-evolving loose categories for UAS. People classify them by size, range and endurance, and use a tier system that is employed by the military. The Penn State University course suggests that for classifying UAS according to size, the following system of sub-classes is sometimes used: â¢ Very small UAVsâup to 30 to 50 cm long, such as the Australian Cyber Technol ogy CyberQuad Mini. This class includes the sub-classes Micro or Nano UAVs, and Mini UAVs. â¢ Small UAVsâbetween 50 cm and 2 meters in one dimension, such as the RQ-11 Raven. â¢ Medium UAVsâUAS with a wingspan of 5 to 10 meters and can carry payloads of 100 to 200 kg, such as the RQ-5A Hunter. â¢ Large UAVsâlarge UAS used mainly for military roles, such as the MQ-1 Predator. Range and Altitude UAS also can be categorized in terms of their range and altitude limits. Here are some categories the DOD uses: â¢ Hand-held 2,000 ft. (600 m) altitude, about 2 km range â¢ Close 5,000 ft. (1,500 m) altitude, up to 10 km range â¢ NATO type 10,000 ft. (3,000 m) altitude, up to 50 km range â¢ Tactical 18,000 ft. (5,500 m) altitude, about 160 km range â¢ MALE (medium altitude, long endurance) up to 30,000 ft. (9,000 m) and range over 200 km â¢ HALE (high altitude, long endurance) over 30,000 ft. (9,100 m) and indefinite range â¢ HYPERSONIC high-speed, supersonic (Mach 1â5) or hypersonic (Mach 5+) 50,000 ft (15,200 m) or suborbital altitude, range over 200 km â¢ ORBITAL low earth orbit (Mach 25+) â¢ CIS Lunar Earth-Moon transfer â¢ Computer Assisted Carrier Guidance System (CACGS) for UAS Size and Performance Another means of classifying UAS is by the size or weight of the aircraft, together with the airspeed and altitude regimes in which they fly. The DOD uses a group classification system such described in the Joint Concept of Operations for Unmanned Aircraft Systems. The groups are summarized in Table B-1. The table also includes some representative systems that fall into each group. Within this group system, if an aircraft has one characteristic that falls into a higher group, the aircraft is classified within that higher group. The DOD group system is the reference for the remainder of the discussion in Appendix B. B-2 Examples of UAS Airports May See The following are images along with some specifications of some of the UAS that an airport operator might see flying near or from an airport. While not every model is runway depen- dent, an airport could provide facilities for each type of aircraft. For example, the Southern California Logistics Airport has California National Guard Units flying the Raven on the airport property during training exercises. The aircraft are identified by the groups shown in here.
Modes of UAS Operations B-3 Chapter 1 Chapter 5 Chapter 3 Chapter 7 Chapter 9 Chapter 2 Chapter 6 Chapter 4 Chapter 8 A ppendices UAS Groups Classificaons GROUP UAS NAME (Model Type Examples) Group 1 â¢ 0-20 lbs. â¢ < 100 knots â¢ < 1,200 . above ground level â¢ Raven â¢ WASP â¢ Puma â¢ T-Hawk Group 2 â¢ 21-55 lbs. â¢ < 250 knots â¢ < 3,500 . above ground level â¢ Scan Eagle â¢ Silver Fox â¢ Aerosonde Group 3 â¢ < 1,320 lbs. â¢ < 250 knots â¢ < 18,000 . â¢ Hunter â¢ Shadow â¢ Blackjack â¢ Tiger Shark â¢ Mako II Group 4 â¢ > 1,320 lbs. â¢ Any airspeed â¢ < 18,000 . â¢ Hummingbird â¢ Fire Scout â¢ Predator â¢ Grey Eagle Group 5 â¢ > 1,320 lbs. â¢ Any airspeed â¢ > 18,000 . â¢ Reaper â¢ Global Hawk Table B-1. UAS classifications. Group 1 Raven - RQ-11 Wingspan 4.5 ft. Maximum Takeoff Weight 4.2 lbs. Launch and Recovery Hand-launch/auto land U.S. Army Photo Group 2 Insitu ScanEagle Wingspan 10.2 ft. Maximum Takeoff Weight 48.5 lbs. Launch and Recovery Catapult launch/rope and hook recovery U.S. Navy/John F. Williams
B-4 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) at Airports: A Primer Ch ap te r 1 Ch ap te r 5 Ch ap te r 3 Ch ap te r 7 Ch ap te r 9 Ch ap te r 2 Ch ap te r 6 Ch ap te r 4 Ch ap te r 8 A pp en di ce s Group 3 Hunter - RQ-5 Wingspan 29.2 ft Maximum Takeoff Weight 1,974 lbs. Launch and Recovery Automated rolling takeoff and landing Northrop Grumman Corp. Group 4 Predator - MQ-1B Wingspan 55 ft. Maximum Takeoff Weight 2,250 lbs. Launch and Recovery Pilot controlled runway takeoff and landing U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson Group 5 Global Hawk - RQ-4 Wingspan 130.9 ft. Maximum Takeoff Weight 32,250 lbs. Launch and Recovery Pilot controlled runway takeoff and landing Photo courtesy Ben Trapnell, Northrop Grumman B-3 UAS Critical Modes or Phases The steps necessary to prepare for UAS operations and then conduct the flights are described in this section of Appendix B. These modes and phases are primarily derived from the experi- ences of organizations flying UAS in support of military operations and training. The informa- tion may differ from that of some civilian UAS organizations flying UAS from airports, but is representative of what airport operators can expect as they introduce UAS into daily operations. Site Survey/Airfield and EMS Analysis In order for UAS operations to be successful at an airport, communications and data trans- fer methods are a top priority. The guarantee of excellent communication links between the
Modes of UAS Operations B-5 Chapter 1 Chapter 5 Chapter 3 Chapter 7 Chapter 9 Chapter 2 Chapter 6 Chapter 4 Chapter 8 A ppendices GCS (ground control station) and the UAS is an important facet for the successful installa- tion, integration, and operation of UAS at an airport. Before beginning UAS operations or when exploring the airport infrastructure needs for UAS integration, a site survey must be done to include an electromagnetic and frequency analysis. The survey should also include a study of optimal locations for GCS and the associated data-link antennas prior to any UAS flight operations. For public safety, this survey helps ensure, to the extent possible, the highest quality communications link between the GCS and the UAS across the entire airport environment. This study should consider not only the designated ramps, taxi routes, airport structures, and takeoff/landing corridors, but all natural environmental surroundings and obstructions. System Introduction and Deployment Setting Up the System Following completion of the site survey to confirm the airport meets UAS requirements, the systems can be deployed. Once deployment is approved, the ground equipment and its supporting components [such as GCS, ground data terminals (GDT), and hangars or shelters] are constructed, assembled, or positioned in the predetermined locations. This may require the use of large equipment and trucks, especially for systems that require the use of catapult launch and net systems for UAS recovery. The amount of ground equipment and support components needed is entirely dependent upon the size and complexity of the UAS being deployed. Fiber Optics For larger systems used for imagery, reconnaissance, or video monitoring, large amounts of data may be transmitted from the aircraft to the operators at the airport. Fiber optic cables connect the GCS to the ground data terminal. The length of the cables is usually limited by the system manufacturer to ensure there is no degradation of signal. These cables need to be protected and may require that they be buried underground. Airport Orientation Early in the UAS deployment, all stakeholders in the operation of the UAS will benefit from orientation meetings. Airport staff, UAS operations personnel, ATC, and airport tenants who may be impacted as UAS flights begin can be invited to a meet and greet. The topics addressed during orientation meetings might include: â¢ UAS system specifics and limitations â¢ Local ATC procedures and course rules â¢ Airport facilities â¢ Airport tenant schedules and points of contact â¢ Emergency procedures unique to the UAS â¢ Safety practices and reporting procedures The meetings should be designed not only to orientate the UAS pilots and staff with the air- port policy and procedures, but to familiarize and acquaint the various airport departments, tenants, and their personnel to the UAS components and operational requirements. Orientation meetings can go a long way toward instilling confidence and cooperation between UAS stake- holders at the airport. Examples of two by-products that result from these working meetings are the development and approval of the following: â¢ Depiction of all UAS operation areas on FAA Sectional charts as intense UAS activity â¢ Issuing NOTAMs with detailed information regarding individual UAS operational areas. (An example of wording that can be used for a NOTAM issued for UAS operations can be found in Appendix C-1.)
B-6 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) at Airports: A Primer Ch ap te r 1 Ch ap te r 5 Ch ap te r 3 Ch ap te r 7 Ch ap te r 9 Ch ap te r 2 Ch ap te r 6 Ch ap te r 4 Ch ap te r 8 A pp en di ce s Community Support Garnering community acceptance and support for UAS operations is discussed in Chapter 4 of the primer. The UAS community and airport operators will likely need to take additional steps to address public apprehension from members of the general aviation community and from local businesses. By participating in local aviation safety organization meetings and programs offered by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and FAA safety meetings, the UAS and airport operators can address questions, concerns, perceptions, and misconceptions. A larger challenge for airport operators may be addressing the concerns of persons and orga- nizations who are not participants or beneficiaries of the operations of unmanned aircraft. By engaging with local business associations, such as the chamber of commerce, the airport and UAS operators may discuss business associated with UAS that can benefit the overall economy of the community. Ground Operations Ramp Area UAS ground operations are an important element for airports to take into consideration. The ground equipment used for UAS is often different than that needed for manned aircraft and may need to be in place for specific amounts of time prior to taxi or takeoff. Typical ground operations involving a UAS include: â¢ Pre-positioning of the aircraft â¢ Pre-positioning of GSE â¢ Fueling operations â¢ Maintenance and aircrew preflight of the aircraft and all required GSE â¢ GCS setup, configuration, and preset (as required) â¢ Aircraft initial link â¢ Link checks â¢ Engine start and run-up (as required) â¢ Taxi Managing Frequencies As a precaution, a frequency manager may be used to help assign, monitor, and deconflict data-link frequencies during all UAS operations. With numerous and possibly various types of UAS operating within the designated ramp area or operations area, it is essential that each UAS utilizes an assigned frequency in order to prevent stepping on and/or forcing other participating systems into lost link situations. For example, two UAS, regardless of their system, could be assigned different frequencies for the entire day or for a period of time. If one UAS is currently operating on its assigned data-link frequency while taxiing and the second UAS accidentally powers up on the incorrect frequency, there are two possible outcomes: the air vehicle taxiing will be forced into lost link or the GCS powering up will not be able to establish link with the aircraft. If a UAS experiences a lost link condition while the engine is running, the computer logic commands the engine to shut down and apply brakes. Similar to manned aircraft, this is not considered an emergency situation, but ATC will be notified of the short delay in order to allow UAS ground maintenance to assist with removal of the aircraft from the ramp or the movement area. Taxi Operations Similar to Manned Aircraft One of the challenges during taxi operations for the UAS pilot is maintaining airport situational awareness while taxiing to and from active runways.
Modes of UAS Operations B-7 Chapter 1 Chapter 5 Chapter 3 Chapter 7 Chapter 9 Chapter 2 Chapter 6 Chapter 4 Chapter 8 A ppendices Identical to manned pilots, the UAS pilot must be able to navigate by identifying runway and taxi information markings (such as centerlines, edge lines, hold short lines, airfield lighting), as well as avoid unintentional runway incursions. Using GPS Although GPS is very robust by itself, some UAS provide additional equipment to assist the pilot. The equipment might include a nose camera displaying a certain field of view (FOV) to the GCS, geo-rectified airport taxi maps, GPS overlays reporting real-time air vehicle position on selected maps, and ground chase. Experience with U.S. military unmanned aircraft has shown that UAS using GPS to taxi benefit from the use of fixed taxi routes to avoid ground traffic conflicts. Controlled Taxi Additionally, at controlled airports, ATC monitor all aircraft regardless of being manned or unmanned. It is extremely helpful for aircrews to employ ATC guidance for unforeseen conditions such as blind turns, unlit taxiways, faded runway markings and signs. Their assistance to provide direct routes and adequate separation between aircraft increases the quality of data links and also helps minimize inclement weather effects on the UAS. This helps ensure overall airport flow efficiency. Uncontrolled Airfields At non-towered airports, coordination with the airport owner and operator might be necessary to ensure the taxi route to the active runway is clear and the most direct route is available. Even more importantly, communications with other airport users via Unicom or Multicom radio(s) and UAS intentions and movements is critical to general airport safety. Takeoff Using Runways For runway dependent UAS, normal takeoff procedures are typically the same as manned aircraft. Takeoff pre-planning is important, regardless of runway dependency. Prior coordination of expected takeoff instructions such as traffic pattern, traffic pattern altitude (if nonstandard), assigned emergency mission zones, and departure procedures can help to avoid prolonged takeoff delays and to allow the operator to program the system accordingly. Not Using Runways For runway independent UAS, such as those using a catapult launch- ing system, the takeoff typically requires a designated location, which may not limited to the immediate airport environment. However, there are many vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAS in the small categories that are hand-launched or depart from the ground and do not require a mechanical assist for takeoff. A typical UAS launch site has minimal requirements other than a clear launch/climb out corridor and support vehicle access route to relocate and load a fully pre-assembled and operational UAS from the maintenance site to the launch site. Unique Takeoff Modes Because the catapult, hand-launch, and direct takeoff launching systems do not require any improved surfaces, UAS operations within the immediate airport environment are not limited to prepared surface areas. A catapult can be set up utilizing grass areas between the runways and taxiways or in areas away from the runways. This may help to decongest runways and taxiways. Climbout Much like manned aircraft, a typical UAS climbout keeps the aircraft within the traffic pattern or very close to the airport environment until sufficient altitude is achieved prior to proceeding
B-8 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) at Airports: A Primer Ch ap te r 1 Ch ap te r 5 Ch ap te r 3 Ch ap te r 7 Ch ap te r 9 Ch ap te r 2 Ch ap te r 6 Ch ap te r 4 Ch ap te r 8 A pp en di ce s on the assigned route. The primary reason for staying within the traffic pattern is to maintain the best aircraft positioning possible in case of an emergency; the UAS is in a more desirable position to recover safely. Navigation to Operational Areas The directive and procedure approval process for UAS navigation to and from operational areas is managed by the FAA. The routes are designated in the COA. A COA does not require a restricted type certification, or vice versa. COAs require FAA approval on a case-by-case basis. The items below are some of the topics that need to be assessed during the COA approval process: â¢ Operation area(s) with altitude restriction(s) â¢ Transition routes and procedures â¢ Navigation and strobes requirements â¢ TCAS, ADS, and transponder requirements â¢ Active/passive communication requirements â¢ Lost link route(s) and procedures Areas of Operation Due to the multitude of types of operations, missions, or tasks for which a UAS can be used, the procedures put in place are strongly dependent on the UAS mission itself. Some of these tasks and missions support public agencies, and some are commercial in nature. As a reference, typical UAS missions might include the following: â¢ Illegal trafficking monitoring â¢ Counter drug operations â¢ Traffic/accident control â¢ Police support â¢ Border control monitoring and support â¢ Fire department overhead support â¢ Search and rescue â¢ Natural disaster support â¢ Emergency management â¢ Real estate property survey and photogrammetry â¢ Power line/oil pipe inspection â¢ Film industry support â¢ Wildlife management â¢ Surveillance of commercial high-value assets â¢ Precision agriculture â¢ Agriculture field monitoring â¢ Delivery services (potential future use) The varieties of areas where a UAS can be used make it difficult to identify the operational requirements in every field of employment. If the system is used in conjunction with police, border protection, law enforcement, firefighting, or any other federal and state agency, priority integration into the NAS for such flights might be needed to enhance mission efficiency, effec- tiveness, and safety. From an airport ATC point of view, strong coordination will be required to include the UAS into normal civil aircraft management as authorization for airspace use is typi- cally granted real time on a first come, first served basis. Introduction of the UAS into normal airport operations will require ATC to coordinate aircraft operations and avoid conflicts.
Modes of UAS Operations B-9 Chapter 1 Chapter 5 Chapter 3 Chapter 7 Chapter 9 Chapter 2 Chapter 6 Chapter 4 Chapter 8 A ppendices For non-airport launched commercial UAS operations, the coordination required with air- port operations is more difficult to assess. This assessment depends on where the UAS areas of operations occur and at what altitude the UAS operate. If near to the departing airport, a strong effort is needed by ATC to keep track of the UAS position, and provide traffic advisory and deconfliction between general aviation traffic and the UAS. Return to Base Generally speaking, the same procedures and considerations applied during climb out and navigation to operational area are applied to the UAS return to base (RTB) routing, descent, and arrival procedures. An additional element for consideration is an abnormal or unanticipated reason for the UAS to return, such as an inflight emergency or unpredicted developing weather. Not all unmanned systems have the ability or resources available to divert to alternate air- ports, like manned aircraft. Even though UAS pilots typically plan to RTB at least one hour prior to any undesirable weather conditions, the UAS may request priority handling (when possible) in order to mitigate risk when encountering unexpected conditions or elements. Landing Similar to takeoffs, different UAS have different landing modes. In general, larger runway dependent UAS have two types of landing modes. They are a manual/camera aided landing where the pilot has a cockpit view to aid in the landing process and an auto-landing mode where the aircraft follows a predetermined course and descent profile without input from the pilot or UAS operator. Using Runways There are several types of runway dependent UAS that require additional support equipment to land. This support equipment could include things such as a UAS specific arresting cable to assist with stopping or a diode placed on the runway for UAS that have an auto landing capability. Additional analysis to determine the effect of options such as these on existing operations at an airport will be needed. Landing issues yet to be fully resolved include if an arresting cable could be left in place without causing interference to existing traffic, or if the diode could be permanently placed in an area where it could be in close proximity to the UAS requiring its use without affecting existing traffic. Not Using Runways Runway independent UAS can take advantage of the other areas of the airport and its surround environment for landings. While some systems require an extremely short area of a semi improved surface, others may only require a place to set up a medium to large size recovery net. The size of the unimproved and undesirable areas of an airport will be based on the required UAS landing footprint. Pattern Considerations Although not a requirement, preliminary steps can be taken to increase safety with UAS in the airport traffic pattern. One approach is to have the UAS traffic patterns opposite of manned airplane patterns (e.g., right traffic patterns for UAS as opposed to a left traffic patterns for manned aircraft) to avoid any kind of conflict during a critical phase of flight. UAS operators may be limited in their FOV and thus more reliant on ATC instructions and deconfliction services. It is typical for UAS to slightly extend pattern legs, require nonstandard pattern altitudes, or to require additional time to clear the active runway. The Challenge of Landing For many UAS, like the MQ-1 Predator, landing is the most challenging phase of flight. This fact makes it common for the aircraft to make multiple
B-10 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) at Airports: A Primer Ch ap te r 1 Ch ap te r 5 Ch ap te r 3 Ch ap te r 7 Ch ap te r 9 Ch ap te r 2 Ch ap te r 6 Ch ap te r 4 Ch ap te r 8 A pp en di ce s attempts at landing. In cases where these aircraft need to land at a commercial airport, ATC needs to be prepared for a go around, and be able to properly provide aircraft separation in the surrounding airspace. Controllers might also need to allow more âin-trailâ separation with commercial aircraft as the larger UAS aircraft need a long straight-in approach to alleviate some of these issues. Parking/Shutdown Due to the limited airfield situational awareness and depth perception of the UAS aircrews, a maintenance crewmember typically marshals the UAS into the assigned parking spot, identi- cal to any commercial operation. In addition to standard hand signals, maintenance crews also employ voice communications with the aircrew to ensure safety and clear lines of communica- tion at all times. Additional Operational Considerations Public Versus Civil UAS At present, the vast majority of UAS operations conducted at air - ports are under the authority of the U.S. military or other government agencies, and are considered public UAS operations. The operation of civil UAS, especially small UAS, at civil airports may be different from these operations in some ways. Until those operations begin, it is not possible to project the limitations, requirements, or approvals that may be required by the FAA. Larger Airports in the Future? As technical means grow to address key safety issues, such as airborne detect-and-avoid systems, civil data links, and privacy and security issues, operations may expand into more populated areas and to larger airports where more sophisticated operations will be involved. In these cases, the UAS will be required to operate much like manned aircraft. The airport considerations to support more advanced UAS operations will deal mainly with providing the unique infrastructure that is needed to enable such routine operations by UAS, and the safety systems necessary to ensure safe operations. Every UAS system has its own nuances and requirements that need to be analyzed sepa- rately by looking at things such as vehicle description, vehicle performance, operator quali- fications, operating procedures, and emergency profiles and procedures. Most of these are addressed during UAS certification and may or may not be of concern to the airport operator. Proper planning and analysis are keys to the successful integration of UAS into the airport environment.