Disclaimer: These links were collected and accessed on April 8, 2012. This list is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather is a short bibliography of recent articles on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV/ sUAV) and drones, with a primary focus on the legal and policy issues surrounding their use within the United States.
FAA LEGISLATION AND REGULATION OF DRONES
- The 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (H.R. 658 ENR; P.L. 112-95), signed Feb. 14, 2012, mandates that drones be fully integrated into American airspace by September 30, 2015. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.658: and http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&session=2&vote=00015
- Senate Floor Debate of Conference Report on H.R. 658, FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2012, February 6, 2012: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/SenateSession4969
- Conference Report on H.R. 658, FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2012, Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 16 (February 1, 2012), House of Representatives, Pages H230 – H304, Posted to FAS Website: http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2012/02/faa-uas.html
- FAA requires government and research organizations to apply for authorization before they can operate a drone. The Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS), 76 Fed. Reg. 40,107 (July 7, 2011), available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-07-07/pdf/2011-15494.pdf#page=16.
- Press Release – FAA asks for Public Input on UAS Test Site Selection, FAA, March 7, 2012: http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=13393
- FAA UAS General Information and Webinars: http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas
- Timeline for Rule-making (Geiger 2012): https://www.cdt.org/blogs/harley-geiger/2703drone-countdown
- Drones – Privacy Paradox: Privacy and Its Conflicting Values (Video), 2012 Stanford Law Review Symposium, The Center for Internet and Society, Stanford University, February 2, 2012 (video quality of symposium poor, but discussion interesting and includes video of what’s possible to do with drones): http://www.c-span.org/Events/Panel-Discusses-Domestic-Drones-and-Privacy/10737429618 and https://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/multimedia/drones-privacy-paradox-privacy-and-its-conflicting-values-video
- The Impact of Domestic Drones on Privacy, Safety and National Security (Video), Brookings Institute, April 4, 2012: http://www.brookings.edu/events/2012/0404_domestic_drones.aspx
- Robots that fly…and cooperate (Video), Professor Vijay Kumar, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics, GRASP Laboratory, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania, TEDtalks [YouTube], March 1, 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ErEBkj_3PY and links to Kumar’s other YouTube videos:
- Acerman, Spenser. 2011. “Occupy the Skies! Protesters Could Use Spy Drones,” Wired Magazine, November 18, 2011: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/11/ows-drones
- Ackerman, Evan. 2011. “Could Domestic Surveillance Drones Spur Tougher Privacy Laws?” IEEE Spectrum Blog, IEEE Website, December 19, 2011: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/military-robots/could-domestic-surveillance-drones-spur-tougher-privacy-laws
White House ‘Big Data’ Push Means Big Bucks for Drone Brains
By Robert Beckhusen, Danger Room, Wired Magazine, March 29, 2012
The military has a data problem. More specifically, it has a too-much-data problem. Analysts have to sort through massive amounts of information collected by orbiting surveillance drones and satellites, or finding the data trails left behind by spies inside defense networks. Sorting through all this data is also necessary for making unmanned vehicles more autonomous. Bring on the White House’s new “big data” research initiative. Announced this morning, the plan aims to invest “more than $200 million” in six government agencies to develop systems to “extract knowledge and insights from large and complex collections of digital data,” according to a White House statement. …
For full text of the article, via White House ‘Big Data’ Push Means Big Bucks for Drone Brains | Danger Room | Wired.com.
- White House ‘Big Data’ Push Means Big Bucks for Drone Brains (wired.com)
- Why science really needs big data – CNET News (news.cnet.com)
- Feds launch big data initiative to advance science (news.cnet.com)
- Big Data Initiative Or Big Government Boondoggle? (informationweek.com)
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) R&D Budget and Policy Program has released its analysis of research and development investment in FY 2012 Congressional appropriations by Agency, including for the USGS and EPA. For links to the AAAS analysis, summary tables, and more visit AAAS – R&D Budget and Policy Program – Home.
On Friday, December 23, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012, the so-called “megabus” spending bill. … The trillion-dollar compromise package incorporates the remaining nine individual spending bills in the following areas: Defense; Energy and Water; Interior and Environment; Homeland Security; Financial Services; Labor, HHS and Education; State and Foreign Operations; Military Construction and Veterans; and the Legislature. … Based on initial AAAS analysis, total R&D spending for FY2012 stands at $142 billion, approximately $1.8 billion or 1.3% below FY2011 levels. The summary table is posted immediately below, and individual agency tables can be found under the subject headings that follow.
- Status of FY 2012 Appropriations Bills (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Budget Update … Good News For NSF (& their CREATIV use of these funds …) (writedit.wordpress.com)
by Jon Hamilton, NPR, June 17, 2011
Government officials are forecasting a turbulent future for the nation’s weather satellite program. Federal budget cuts are threatening to leave the U.S. without some critical satellites, the officials say, and that could mean less accurate warnings about events like tornadoes and blizzards. In particular, officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are concerned about satellites that orbit over the earth’s poles rather than remaining over a fixed spot along the equator. These satellites are “the backbone” of any forecast beyond a couple of days, says Kathryn Sullivan, assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction, and NOAA’s deputy administrator. It was data from polar satellites that alerted forecasters to the risk of tornadoes in Alabama and Mississippi back in April, Sullivan says. “With the polar satellites currently in place we were able to give those communities five days’ heads up,” she says. …
For full text of the article, visit Blind Eye In The Sky: Weather Satellites Lose Funding : NPR.
- Weather satellite need defended by climate experts (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Budget Compromise Slashes Funding for Weather Satellites (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- “GOP Cut Crucial Weather Satellites with Fierce Hurricane Season Looming” and related posts (wonkroom.thinkprogress.org)
- As Big Hurricane Season Looms, NOAA Chief Calls Satellite Cuts a “Disaster” (scientificamerican.com)
- Hurricane Forecasters Worry Lack of Federal Dollars Could Mean Inadequate … (foxnews.com)
- Tuscaloosa Tornado: Satellite Images of Tornado’s Path, Massive Superstorm (deathby1000papercuts.com)
GAO-10-456 April 27, 2010
Environmental satellites provide data on the earth and its space environment that are used for forecasting the weather, measuring variations in climate over time, and predicting space weather. In planning for the next generation of these satellites, federal agencies originally sought to fulfill weather, climate, and space weather requirements. However, in 2006, federal agencies restructured two key satellite acquisitions, the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R series (GOES-R). This involved removing key climate and space weather instruments. GAO was asked to (1) assess plans for restoring the capabilities that were removed from the two key satellite acquisitions, (2) evaluate federal efforts to establish a strategy for the long-term provision of satellite-provided climate data, and (3) evaluate federal efforts to establish a strategy for the longterm provision of satellite-provided space weather data. To do so, GAO analyzed agency plans and reports. …
For full text of article, visit the GAO website here.
The House Intelligence Committee critically reviewed the U.S. intelligence satellite program in a rare unclassified report on the subject. See “Report on Challenges and Recommendations for United States Overhead Architecture,” House Intelligence Committee, House Report 110-914, October 3, 2008.
Source: Steve Aftergood of the SECRECY NEWS, from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy, Volume 2008, Issue No. 97, October 8, 2008.
This report comments on the use of commercial remote sensing service providers. Read the whole post for an excerpt from this report.