New ASTM standards cover UAS operations

ASTM International Committee F38 on Unmanned Aircraft Systems has approved seven new standards that cover all major facets of small unmanned aircraft systems operations, including design, construction, operation and maintenance requirements.

The seven new ASTM standards, written for all UAS that are permitted to operate over a defined area and in airspace defined by a nation’s governing aviation authority, are:

  1. ASTM F2908, Specification for Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) for a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS): ASTM F2908 defines minimum requirements for the aircraft flight manual, which provides guidance to owners, mechanics, pilots, crew members, airports, regulatory officials and aircraft and component manufacturers who perform or provide oversight of sUAS flight operations.
  2. ASTM F2909, Practice for Maintenance and Continued Airworthiness of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS): ASTM F2909 establishes a practice for the maintenance and continued airworthiness of sUAS. Requirements for continued airworthiness, inspections, maintenance and repairs/alterations are included.
  3. ASTM F2910, Specification for Design and Construction of a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS): ASTM F2910 defines the design, construction and test requirements for sUAS. In addition to general requirements, ASTM F2910 covers requirements for structure, propulsion, propellers, fuel and oil systems, cooling, documentation and other key areas.
  4. ASTM F2911, Practice for Production Acceptance of Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS): ASTM F2911 defines production acceptance requirements for sUAS. Requirements covered include several aspects of production, system level production acceptance, quality assurance and documentation.
  5. ASTM F3002, Specification for Design of the Command and Control System for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS): ASTM F3002 provides a consensus standard in support of an application to a nation’s governing aviation authority to operate an sUAS for commercial or public use. The standard focuses on command and control (C2) links, including a diagram of a C2 system and general requirements for C2 system components.
  6. ASTM F3003, Specification for Quality Assurance of a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS): ASTM F3003 defines quality assurance requirements for design, manufacture and production of small unmanned aircraft systems. Guidance is given to sUAS manufacturers for the development of a quality assurance program.
  7. ASTM F3005, Specification for Batteries for Use in Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS): ASTM F3005 defines requirements for battery cells used in sUAS. Mechanical design and safety, and electrical design battery maintenance are primary battery-related areas that are covered.

“The introduction of these standards developed by F38 will help to provide a safe and appropriate path for near-term routine sUAS operations in airspace systems of the United States and other countries,” says Theodore Wierzbanowski, consultant and F38 chairman.

Committee F38 encourages participation in its standards developing activities, he added.

“The user community for these standards is vast,” says Wierzbanowski. “Feedback on what works and what doesn’t during these early stages of sUAS operation is critical.”

For more information: ASTM.org

 April 1, 2014

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