Drone hazards have been a hot-button topic of late, especially when it comes to the dangers they might present to human-occupied aircraft of all sizes. But what happens when they hit a person on the ground? That is the topic of a recent FAA-issued study on UAS human collision hazards.
The study was conducted by a consortium of universities through the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE). It employed crash tests and dynamic modeling in addition to reviewing over 300 related publications from the automotive industry, consumer battery market, toy standards, and other fields. The goal was to not only identify the types of injuries small drones could cause people on the ground, but also how best to reduce the risk of serious in injury in the event of a collision. The next phase of the study, scheduled to begin in June, will work on developing safety standards for drone manufacturers.
“The results of this work are critical to the successful commercial operations of flying unmanned aircraft over people and beyond the pilot’s visual line of sight,” said ASSURE director Marty Rogers. A related ASSURE project is focusing on the risks associated with UAS collisions with aircraft. It is scheduled to be released later this summer.