Club Meeting – July 28th, 2016


Greene 072816Drones: The Opportunity and the Uncertainty” – Jon Greene, Associate Director for National Security and Program Development in Virginia Tech’s Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science.

A word that a decade ago brought a somewhat quizzical look to most people’s faces has become a tool in a wide range of applications for military, business, and personal use.  What once were highly specialized advanced technology drones for military use have evolved in size (larger and smaller), in capabilities, and decreases in cost enabling business and individuals the ability to privately own and operate drones.

The quickly growing number of drones being flown has created concerns over a myriad of issues from personal privacy to  averting potential acts of terror.  State and federal officials are hard pressed to enact regulations that stay abreast of the spread and uses of drones.   Va Tech has been active in advancing drone technology and understanding its impact on our day to day lives.  Mr. Greene took us through a quick review of this fascinating topic and VA Tech’s involvement in the field unmanned aircraft systems.

The Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 required the FAA to establish a program to integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS) at 6 Test Sites. Virginia Tech was awarded to lead one of the six Test Sites.  This led to the creation of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership which includes Maryland and New Jersey.  The Test Range sites were selected based on…

  • Geography
  • Climate
  • Ground infrastructure
  • Research needs

Program Requirements

  • Maintain Safety and Efficiency of the NAS
  • Safely designate Airspace for integrated manned and unmanned flight operations
  • Develop Certification Standards and ATC procedures
  • Address Civil and Private UAS
  • Coordinate with the NextGen Program
  • Verify Safety and Navigation Procedures

Mr. Greene was a Governor’s Award nominee for his efforts to position VA Tech as a leader in the field of unmanned aircraft systems. The allotted time for our programs did not allow a review of all the issues or time for the many questions members wished to ask.  We hope the links below can help members to further explore this very interesting and timely topic.

Below is video on drone safety in airspace…