Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

July 12, 2017, 4:00 PM EDT

In today’s society, unmanned vehicles are doing more and more tasks that are dangerous, time consuming, repetitious, or difficult for their human counterparts to undertake. One of the recent, widely expanding areas in this field is the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are devices that are either programmed to perform a task or piloted remotely to perform a task while airborne. These devices can be equipped with a payload, such as a camera or other device, to perform this task. UAVs can be battery operated or fuel driven based on the size, payload, and mission set for the particular UAV. Tasks can be civilian applications or they can be military applications; however, most regulations and standardization center on civilian applications of battery operated UAVs. The main reason for this is that the battery-operated UAVs are more prevalent and are available to a wide variety of users.

Whether this UAV is used to inspect a roof top, map a farm field, provide video for new casts (or last year’s Super Bowl Game), inspect a bridge or building, or deliver packages to remote areas, the possibilities for UAVs are ramping up. This creates the need for regulations and rules on operation, use, airspace, and safety so that these devices can be used in a way that will allow continued growth in the market well mitigating risks and incidents involved with these UAVs. Up to now, there has not been much in the way of regulations and as Government agencies react to the need for regulations, the industry continues to grow and change, so that the regulations are constantly trying to catch up. The day when the sky is filled with UAVs all performing tasks in a seamless and transparent interaction with humans may be future state, but the industry is willing to get their now. So, understanding where we are, where we are headed, and how this all works together is important.

As the industry continues to develop, more rules and regulations will be needed to cover an ever-expanding use case for UAVs. Where there are answers, it is important that these are understood and where answers do not exist, it is important to develop them. In the end, the task is harder than it sounds as this dynamic industry continues to develop. This webinar will focus on these various areas of the UAV environment, looking at FAA Regulations, Federal versus State and Local Regulations, the Standards landscape, and how these devices may overlap with EHS concerns for facilities, companies, and manufacturers.

Biography: Joe Bablo serves as Primary Designated Engineer (PDE) for UL LLC based in the US. Joe has been with UL LLC for the last 22 years, the last 14 as PDE. The main function of this role is to develop and maintain standards for a variety of equipment, to drive consistency in the use of these requirements on a global scale, and act as UL’s technical expert in these areas. Some of the product types in Joe’s area of responsibility include battery operated UAVs, battery operated bicycles, EV charging, and other automotive related categories. Further to this, Joe is active in IEC, ISO, and SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) standards development committees for the same equipment categories as for his UL standards development work. He also serves as the Principal member of Code Making Panel 12 of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) National Electrical Code. Prior to serving as PDE, Joe was involved in many industries including Information Technology Equipment, Gasoline Dispensing Equipment, Welding Equipment, and the like, as part of ULs product evaluation staff.
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