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Technology, Not Just Regulation, Advances UAS Industry

CACI, the Virginia-based entity that will deploy its UAV detection technology at various airports in the U.S. through a new partnership announced this week with the FAA, highlights a very real facet of the industry: technology can/will drive growth.
By Luke Geiver | October 08, 2015

CACI, the Virginia-based entity that will deploy its UAV detection technology at various airports in the U.S. through a new partnership announced this week with the FAA, highlights a very real facet of the UAS industry: technology can shape the future of the industry as much or more as regulations.

CACI will utilize its technology to detect the presence of UAVs near airports to give the FAA a better sense of drone activity near critical airspace. The FAA intends to use the information gleaned from the unique technology to make the nation’s airspace safer for UAV operators and manned pilots both.

The partnership is happening through the FAA’s Pathfinder program, and, it seems fitting. This partnership will be showing a possible path that the FAA could take to formulate new policies or regulations based on a technology.

Given the amount and quality of proven technology that already exists in the UAS world, it is refreshing to see technology used as the carrot that guides the industry. It is through technology and research that the industry will arrive at the acceptable answers its needs to some of the biggest challenges and concepts—like sense and avoid or flight beyond visual line of sight.

Regulations are in fact crucial to the industry, but the announcement by the FAA was a nice reminder that regulations and policies are more of a guideline on what the industry can’t do, and shouldn’t hold us back from thinking about what the industry can do.

Through the use of technology and research the FAA will be learning more about the NAS. In the UAS world, the amount of technology is staggering and we all know it is only going to keep coming. More technology means a better, safer, relevant and broader UAS industry no matter what policy or regulation we are waiting on.