USAF Airborne Sense and Avoid (ABSAA) Airworthiness and Operational Approval Approach

February 2014
Topics: Air Traffic Management, Aircraft, Air Navigation
Ted Lester, The MITRE Corporation
Dr. Steve Cook, The MITRE Corporation
Kyle R. Noth, The MITRE Corporation
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This report sets out to investigate existing USAF airworthiness and operational approval processes and how they might be leveraged to field ABSAA on a USAF UAS for flight in the NAS. It also explores the concept of a safety case that may be needed for airworthiness and operational approval.

We find that the existing USAF airworthiness process is appropriate to provide airworthiness approval of ABSAA assuming the civil standards operational approval process is used, and that the artifacts developed as part of the TACC (or MACC) for a UAS with ABSAA can be sufficient to support both airworthiness and operational approval if properly tailored.

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