Defense Contractor Granted Commercial Exemption for DJI UAVs

Posted by Betsy Lillian on August 24, 2015 No Comments

As part of its ‘rapid prototype technology development effort,’ Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, a subsidiary of Waltham, Mass.-based aerospace/defense company Raytheon Co., has received a commercial unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The company – which specializes in missile defense; command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR); electronic warfare; and precision weapons – is now authorized to fly the DJI Phantom 2 and DJI S900 UAVs for testing the Raytheon radar system.

In the petition, the company says its airborne Synthetic Target Generator (STG) will be added as payload to the S900 “to emulate real target motion through space.”

“The UAV-mounted STG will transmit the FCC-authorized waveforms at low power levels, from several locations … This will allow Raytheon to test the performance of the radar when it is working with an actual moving target that is trackable by the radar system.”

Raytheon says that through this exemption, it aims to “deliver a high-quality technology to potential U.S. government customers at a rapid rate and economical cost.”

“Using commercial, off-the-shelf technology,” the petition says, “is key to keeping costs low and delivering results quickly” and “will save taxpayer dollars.”

UAV testing will be conducted primarily in “parking lots or open areas that are on Raytheon facilities, which are fences in and have restricted access.”

The petition notes that maintaining a visual line of sight with the UAS operator would not pose a problem, as the “area of operations will have a radius of 100 meters,” and the aircraft will likely “hover more than it will fly.”

The full exemption can be found here.

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