Drones could get standardized rating system

The system would make it easier to understand a drone's capabilities

Drone safety experts are considering a rating system for drones that would show what a particular craft could do and where it would be appropriate to fly it.

"It's sort of an Underwriters Lab for drones," said Parimal Kopardekar, head of NASA's NextGen Airspace Project, referring to the old safety testing organization now known as UL.

Kopardekar said the program would primarily focus on drones weighing less than 55 pounds (25 kilograms) and involve a series of tests.

They might include various twists and turns, flying in a narrow alley, staying aloft in wind, rain or fog, and how a drone responds when its GPS signal is lost.

151117 parimal kopardekar Martyn Williams

Parimal Kopardekar,Principal Investigator of the NASA's NextGen Airspace Project, speaks at the Drone World Expo in San Jose, California, on Nov. 17, 2015.

"You'd get a performance rating for a particular vehicle, so you'd know based on that where is the right place to operate it," he said at the Drone World Expo in San Jose on Tuesday.

The goal would be an easy to understand rating that can be used by consumers, commercial operators, insurance agents and regulators to quickly gauge the capabilities of a drone.

"Right now, that kind of guidance is missing," he said.

It's not clear which organizations might be working with NASA on the program; the agency is cooperating with a large number of public and private partners on drone safety.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?