MoD Competition – Autonomous Last Mile ReSupply

Autonomy on the front line: supplying Armed Forces on the battlefield. 

We have just seen that the Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin challenges industry and academia to design autonomous systems that can resupply our front-line troops. Information on the .GOV website here.

Are you involved in this Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Defence and Security Accelerator competition: autonomous last mile resupply?

 

Graphic From .gov website – Vignette 2: emergency battle replenishment

Graphic From .gov website – Vignette 1: Resupply at reach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a fantastic opportunity in an area and market that we are interested in. If you or your organisation is involved, we would be keen to discuss opportunities for us to provide our specialist support to developers or government teams involved in this competition. We feel that we have some valuable qualifications, skills and experiences that would provide a team with an operational and competitive advantage over competition. We are a small agile company with specialist Defence Procurement (DP), Integrated Logisitic Support (ILS) and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) experience.

Our Principal Consultant  Alan Stevens has completed 22 years military service, 15 years in UK Defence procurement (Industry and Government Teams) during which time was involved in Land, Sea and Air capabilities within the field of Integrated Logistics. More recently has been involved in commercially operating unmanned air systems  (8 years) under a UK CAA permission for commercial operation (PFCO) and providing consultancy support to a range of large and small organisations developing RPAS based capabilities. The company also holds a UK CAA Restricted – National Qualified Entity. (R-NQE) allowing it to assess RPAS pilots and make recommendations to the CAA.

More about our team can be found here and Alans associated curriculum vitae can be found here and his LinkedIn profile is here

Our Capabilities are summarised here.

A list of Defence Projects supported can be found  here

We are experienced providers of discrete technical support under strict non disclosure agreements. If you are involved and wish to discuss how we can support your bid please contact us

UK CAA Commercial Drone Operator List

The latest CAA list of UK Commercial Drone Operators came out on 17 April 2017 – Version 25

It is published in a Civil Aviation Publication (CAP) 1361, on the UK CAA website here.

As fast as the list grows, there are an ever increasing number of “Drone List” facilitators. These usually charge for operators to be on their list, often with levels of membership and facilitation and therefore influences the operators promoted.

CAP 1361: Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) operators holding a valid CAA permission is the authoritative list of operators holding a UK CAA Permission For Commercial Operation. This is all of the operators that have been successful and have currently valid approvals for the categories shown. We see operators “drop off” and reappear on the list which over the years we attribute to a delay or timing issue in the list collation and the renewal process for the operator.

From 2427 operators listed in the last Feb 2017 edition of the list, there are now 2629 operators.  The list published on the UK CAA website can be used in a number of ways. Here are 2 suggestions for finding a safe and legal commercial drone operator in UK:

As a check list: It is easy to use your favourite search engine to find operators and then search the official list of names in the pdf document to confirm that the company you wish to use are currently on the list.

Browse the list: If you are starting with the list, unfortunately there are no links to the company webpages, but typing the name from the list into a search engine will provide you the contact information.

If you have queries or need assistance with either finding a Drone operator in UK or becoming a Drone operator – we are always happy to promote safe and legal Drone operation for Hobby and Commercial use; please get in touch – contact or use the web-chat facility on this website.

Please note; we pride ourselves on being independent, so we will not promote any one Drone system, operator or training service over another.

Drone Pilot Assessment – The Criteria

What’s in a UK Commercial Drone Pilot Assessment?

There are a growing number of National Qualified Entities (NQE) and Restricted Category NQEs. All operate to a UK CAA minimum criteria standard set out in CAP 722.

We see and receive a number of queries about what to expect on a Drone Pilot Assessment. Our potential pilots that approach us for assessments are fully briefed in advance, but some are from pilots entering a short intense course with another NQE, often they wish to ensure they turn up prepared. Not all pilots require a ground school. If you are unsure of your options, then please get in touch and we will provide independent advice as to the evidence you should expect to provide to the UK CAA.

No matter how your chosen R-NQE/NQE deliver the service, the minimum UK CAA criteria in CAP 722 for a Commercial Drone Pilots Practical Assessment is:

Ensure that their students are able to satisfactorily demonstrate at least the following skills during the practical flight assessment:

§ Pre-flight actions including:

§ Mission planning, airspace considerations and site risk-assessment.

§ Aircraft pre-flight inspection and set-up (including flight controller modes and power-source hazards).

§ Knowledge of the basic actions to be taken in the event of an aircraft emergency or if a mid-air collision hazard arises during the flight.

§ In-flight procedures including:

§ Maintaining an effective look-out and keeping the aircraft within Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) at all times.

§ Performing accurate and controlled flight manoeuvres at representative heights and distances (including flight in ‘Atti’ (non-GPS assisted) mode or equivalent where fitted).

§ Real-time monitoring of aircraft status and endurance limitations.

§ Demonstration of the ‘return-to-home’ function following deliberate control-link transmission failure. Fixed-wing aircraft may demonstrate an equivalent procedure that results in a suitable automated, low-impact descent and landing.

§ Post flight actions including:

§ Shutting down/making-safe the aircraft.

§ Post-flight inspection and recording of any relevant data relating to aircraft general condition, aircraft systems, aircraft components and power-sources, controller functionality and crew health and fatigue.

 

Our process is explained on our Drone Pilot Assessments page of this website.

If you have any questions, please see CAP 722 in the first instance, and if you still need assistance, by all means get in touch; we are always happy to promote safe and professional Drone operations. Use our web chat or see our contact us page.

UK CAA – SRG 1320 Issue 7

PLEASE NOTE – PFCO Application Form Is Up-issued to Issue 7

A quick heads up to UK Commercial Drone operators as we have received an email today to inform us that the UAS Application Form SRG1320 has been up issued to Issue 7. This is to reflect changes concerning Insurance and payment methods when applications are submitted to the CAA.

The new form can be found on the CAA website – see the attached link to SRG1320: http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/SRG1320Issue07Enabled.pdf
The CAA have also added two other points to be noted:

1. Please note that the CAA will no longer be phoning customers to take payment. The responsibility now lies with the applicant to contact the CAA to make the necessary payment. No work will be undertaken on an application until the CAA has received payment for the application.

2. Please note that the CAA will no longer accept Issue 6 of SRG1320 from the 1st May 2017. Any application received after this date with the old form will be rejected back to the applicant.

They suggest that if you have any queries in this regard, please submit these to: uavenquiries@caa.co.uk

AJSSL 2017 Permission For Commercial Operation (PFCO)

We have just received our 7th annual renewal for our Permission For Commercial Operation (PFCO) #38

We are once again able to commercially operate fixed wing and rotary winged (Single and multi) unmanned aircraft systems up to 20 kgs in Night and Day operations.

It was great to receive the paperwork back from the CAA within the 28 working days as advertised. This was however the first time we had to adjust our insurance cover due to the CAA now require at least 6 weeks cover remaining when you apply. See previous post.

Benefits Of Drones To The UK Economy

A Government Consultation On Benefits Of Drones To The UK Economy Closes Soon.

The Title is:

Unlocking the UK’s High Tech Economy: Consultation on the Safe Use of drones in the UK

Closing Date – This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 15 March 2017

Summary – Seeks views on proposals to harness the positive benefits of drones for public and commercial services and the benefits to the UK economy.

Whether you want to have a say or not, this would be interesting to operators or manufacturers active in the Drone market in UK.

There are 3 main documents in this consultation:

1. Unlocking the UK’s high tech economy: consultation on the safe use of drones in the UK
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/579562/consultation-on-the-safe-use-of-drones.pdf

2. Impact assessment: insurance for drones
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/579509/drones-insurance_ia.pdf

3. Impact assessment: mandated guidance provision for drones
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/579515/mandated-guidance-ia.pdf

To give you a view of what is covered and what sort of consultation questions are being asked, we have extracted and listed them below.

A Summary List Of The Proposals And Consultation Questions:

Proposal A: Evaluating the UK’s drone testing site provision and processes

Consultation Question 1. Is the UK’s current testing site provision for drones adequate?

Consultation Question 2. Which of the above Proposal A, Options 1-4 is your preferred option and why?

Consultation Question 3. What other options could you suggest?

Proposal B: Pilot competency, training and licensing

Consultation Question 4. Are new competency standards and qualifications needed? Why?

Consultation Question 5. What should the new standards and qualifications be?

Consultation Question 6. How should the new standards and qualifications be taught and tested?

Proposal C: Insurance

Consultation Question 7. Do you support: Proposal C, Option 1: Working with industry to develop best practice, Proposal C, Option 2: The creation of an enabling primary power to set UK drone insurance requirements, or neither? Why?

Consultation Question 8. In which of the above areas a-e would you be supportive of action being taken? Why do you support action in the areas you have picked and not in others?

Proposal D: Improving leisure drone user awareness of the law

Consultation Question 9. Other than those already described here, what other options could the Government consider to improve leisure drone user awareness of the law?

Consultation Question 10. Would you support a requirement to issue guidance on flying your drone safely and legally by manufacturers, sellers, or both? Why?

Consultation Question 11. Have you read any official drone guidance (such as the CAA’s Dronecode, the Informational Commissioner Office’s guidance or any other official guidance on drones)?

Consultation Question 12. What guidance have you read?

Consultation Question 13. How can the content and formats of official guidance on drones be improved?

Consultation Question 14. Do you support the creation of official guidance specifically aimed at helping parents and adults responsible for supervising children fly drones safely? Why?

Consultation Question 15. Do you support the creation of a labelling system on drone packaging stating the age suitability? Why?

Consultation Question 16. Would you support for leisure users the introduction of a knowledge test, situational awareness test or both? Why?

Consultation Question 17. Are you supportive of changes to the Air Navigation Order 2016 small drone flying rules to make them simpler? Why?

Proposal E: Improving Deterrents

Consultation Question 18. Do you support increasing deterrents for breaking any of the small drone laws in the Air Navigation Order 2016? Why?

Consultation Question 19. Is there a need to amend current legislation to better enable prosecution relating to drone misuse? Why?

Proposal F: No Drone Flying Zones and Enforcement

Consultation Question 20. Do you support Proposal F, Options 1 and/or 2? Why? .

Consultation Question 21. Are you a public organisation or body with relevant drone flying restrictions?

Consultation Question 22. If so, would you make use of standardised signage to inform the public of restrictions on drone operations? Why?

Proposal G: Registration of drones

Consultation Question 23. At what weight should a drone be excluded from registration? Please explain your reasoning.

Consultation Question 24. Should the threshold for exclusion from registration be based on a different metric (such as how high you intend to fly the drone?)

Consultation Question 25. If you think so, what more appropriate or different threshold do you suggest and why?

Consultation Question 26. Who should be made responsible for collecting and holding small drone registration details? The Civil Aviation Association or another body? Why?

Consultation Question 27. Do you support registration requirements not applying for certain owners of model aircraft below 20 kilograms in weight? Why?

Consultation Question 28. Do you support the registration process proposed? Why?

Consultation Question 29. Do you support a small charge being imposed on drone owners when registering their drone? Why?

Consultation Question 30. What do you think about the parameters for a charging scheme outlined above?

Consultation Question 31. Should some anonymous/non-identifying data collected by registration (such as numbers of drones in a local area) be made publically available? What data and why?

Consultation Question 32. Having considered some elements of how the registration scheme would be implemented, which of the following options is your preferred option:

• Proposal G, Option 1: Not to introduce a registration scheme;

• Proposal G, Option 2: To introduce a registration scheme in the near future; or

• Proposal G, Option 3: To introduce a registration scheme in the longer term

Why?

Proposal H: Electronic Identification of drones

Consultation Question 33. Do you agree with the proposed approach to implementing an electronic identification requirement? Why?

Consultation Question 34. Should all registered drones be electronically identifiable? Why?

Consultation Question 35. If no, what drones should be excluded from electronic identification and why?

Consultation Question 36. Do you support a pilot scheme mandating the use of an app to notify other app users and authorities that you are flying a drone in a certain area? Why?

Proposal I: Drone Traffic Management

Consultation Question 37. Do you agree with the proposed characteristics of the drone traffic management system? Why?

Consultation Question 38. Do you agree with the proposed underlying principles for the drone traffic management system? Why?

Consultation Question 39. Do you agree that it should be compulsory for a drone to be electronically identifiable in order to use the UTM system? Why?

Consultation Question 40. Should electronic identification for manned general aviation be mandatory? Why?

Consultation Question 41. How should a drone traffic management system be funded?

The consultation documents and response link can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/benefits-of-drones-to-the-uk-economy

 

SUSA Operating Safety Case (OSC) Information

After a number of email and chat queries regarding developing an Operating Safety Case (OSC) to support a Permission For Commercial Operation (PFCO), in particular the content and where the CAA guidance templates are; please read the following and if you have any further queries we would be happy to assist.

The guidance is now only found within – CAP 722 – Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – Guidance. If you haven’t yet found it, is here – http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapplication.aspx?appid=11&mode=detail&id=415

The section that you require for creating your OSC starts with – UAS OSC Requirements – described on page – 36

Extract from CAP 722 – Please Refer to Original Document For Latest Content

This refers on to Table 4 on Page 37. And, depending on the aircraft mass and if you are planning to operate in a congested area – the table indicates which of the following volumes of a UAS OSC you need to populate. This is the information and these are the templates in CAP 722:

• Appendix A: Operational Factors for SUA Flights within Congested Areas page 118
• Appendix B: UAS OSC Volume 1 – Operations Manual Template page 123
• Appendix C: UAS OSC Volume 2 – Systems Template page 135
• Appendix D: UAS OSC Volume 3 – Safety Assessment Template page 143

And remember we are always happy to help you should you require it. We can cut through the jargon and help you quickly understand what is required and why.

Use Live Chat or see other contact methods here.

Drone Insurance For UK CAA PFCO

A SHORT DRONE OPERATOR REMINDER

A  quick reminder to all future and current UAS/SUSA operators that all applications for UAV Permissions , regardless of weight/class category, must have insurance cover that meets the requirements of EC785/2004 before a Permission is granted.

At AJSSL we make a point to emphasise this requirement in our assessment, under the criteria of CAP 722 Appendix E29- Small Unmanned Aircraft – Remote Pilot Theoretical Knowledge/General Airmanship Syllabus, Subject, Air Law/ Responsibilities.

When applying to the CAA, the responsibility lies with the applicant to ensure that cover provided by insurers meets the requirements of EC785/2004. Please note that the CAA now mandate that you have at least 6 weeks insurance cover at the time of renewal. Don’t get caught out with this one!

If you are unsure, please refer to the referenced documents in the first instance. We are happy to help you with developing your understanding of the technical stuff if we can.

New technology and ideas in the world of unmanned vehicles

You never know what you’re gonna bump into in the world of unmanned air vehicles…

We came across this company (Roboteam Inc) today who develop and manufacture unmanned platforms and controllers for defence, law enforcement and public safety missions.

They’ve developed a system where ground vehicle and air vehicle can co-operate.  We love technology and new ideas!

(Video taken from Roboteam Inc YouTube channel)

Don’t let your drone be lost and ‘Drone Alone’!

This week saw an interesting task for us – we were called out to see if we could help someone locate their Christmas drone (lost over a week ago).

The drone was small and it was being flown at distance via the ground station display. A combination of pilot error and lack of experience compounded the initial GPS issue. Not helped by insufficient battery life to effect a safe RTH either manually or system driven; resulted in the drone being lost.

Unfortunately, in the area it was being flown there was a network of drainage channels and waterways.

If you were lucky enough to get a shiny new drone this Christmas; why not book a session with us to learn how to fly safely, learn from our pilot’s experiences of common ‘pilot errors’, hints and tips and what to do when things go wrong. An hour picking our brains and learning the basics will set you off in the right direction to safe and legal flying.

For details of our ‘Understanding Your Drone’ session (DG01) see here – http://www.ajs-support.net/drones-service-development/

Contact us today and book!