February 4, 2013

UAS Test Facility in Idaho?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 3:10 pm

predator-7The Federal Aviation Administration is considering establishing six test facilities for unmanned aerial systems in the United States.

The Transportation Committee of the Idaho Senate has drafted and introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 103 in this term of the Idaho Legislature.  If adopted, the Resolution would “encourage the Idaho Department of Commerce in collaboration with the University of Idaho, Boise State University, Idaho State University, the College of Western Idaho and other stakeholders to coordinate comments and identify a lead entity to prepare a proposal on behalf of the state, for Idaho to be selected as one of the Federal Aviation Administration’s six unmanned aircraft system test sites.”  The Committee estimates the one-time cost to complete this proposal would be $25,000.

What do you think?  Money well spent?  Money wasted?  Good idea?  Bad idea?  Why?


  1. I think they’d probably want to test them in an environment where they wouldn’t be shot out of the sky.

    Then again, perhaps that’s exactly what they want.

    Comment by Dan — February 4, 2013 @ 6:38 pm

  2. The testing is most likely to occur where there is a low probability of electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference (RFI) so those and other external factors can be ruled out if they need to do failure analysis. Also, crashing a drone into an occupied apartment building is somewhat harmful to one’s career. And, they’ll likely select the six test sites for maximum security. But yes, a .30-06 round through the “O” in Boeing would definitely compromise the testing, too. Interesting behavioral finding: real, live pilots tend to not be good UAV pilots. Online game-players seem to do better. Go figure.

    Comment by Bill — February 4, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

  3. Well that answers the question of why Idaho was one of the few western states not proposing legislation to ban drones. I would have thought that a ‘conservative’ body such as the Idaho legislature would have been one of the first states in line to pass such legislation. I guess the possibility of federal money, or any money, trumps being ‘conservative’?

    Comment by up river — February 8, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

  4. up river,

    My concern with using UAVS (and their marine counterpart) is less with the technology and more with the quality of judgment of the people playing with their joysticks and pushing the buttons.

    Imagine if the officers involved in shooting up this blue Toyota Tacoma pickup would have been given access to armed UAVs.

    Comment by Bill — February 8, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

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