Public and private research supports UAS commercialization

As the Federal Aviation Administration’s 2015 deadline for integrating small unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace approaches, members of the private, public and education sectors are already looking into the ways they can use drones to make tasks easier and safer — with or without the FAA.

Transportation Department launches website for cruise ship info

Even though the Transportation Department only has minimal involvement in the cruise line industry, the department launched a website last week to direct users to the appropriate agency, whether it be the Federal Maritime Commission or the Coast Guard, to handle their complaint or comment.

DOT chief data officer prepares for forthcoming ‘wave’ of digital transportation data

The world of transportation data is about to explode as more means of travel become digitally interconnected, making the amount of data the Transportation Department handles today “look like child’s play,” Richard McKinney, the department’s chief information officer, said recently. That’s why, in preparation for that inevitable surge of data, McKinney hired DOT’s first ever chief data officer.

Unmanned high-tech balloon used in hunt for alleged murderer

Since September, authorities have been searching for a man who allegedly gunned down a Pennsylvania State Police Trooper. Now, police are deploying an unmanned aircraft system — a silent, high-tech balloon equipped with cameras to monitor a three-to-five-mile radius — to help with the search.

NextGen plan cites funding as ongoing concern

As the Federal Aviation Administration continues to attempt to roll out the Next Generation Air Transportation System, the latest joint implementation plan released by the agency said that without any changes to the current trajectory, the project will be funded fully.

Getting to yes: Tech firms fly into UAS debate

Amazon Prime Air, Google X, GoPro and several drone manufacturers have joined forces as part of the Small UAV Coalition to try to get the FAA to move faster on testing and integration of drones into the national airspace system.

New Mexico cluster to focus on unmanned and autonomous systems

As the number of unmanned systems in use in the air, on land and in the oceans continues to rise, recent action by the Small Business Administration will work to accommodate the potential for small businesses to control parts of that market.

New NOAA system creates high-res weather ‘mesh’ for forecasters

NOAA recently activated its high-res Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) system in order to better predict severe weather, like thunderstorms, tornadoes or snow.

FAA develops updated NextGen rollout plan with industry support

After weeks of concerns regarding the rollout of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Next Generation Air Transportation System, the agency announced an updated plan accelerating the system’s delivery over the next three years.

FAA: NextGen could’ve minimized Chicago tower fire

In the aftermath of a Chicago-area air traffic control tower fire that grounded flights nationwide Sept. 26, Federal Aviation Administration head Michael Huerta said an agency program several years in development could have eased travelers’ woes – had it been fully in place. “We are steadily increasing the amount of air traffic we can handle in the airspace around Chicago,” Huerta said at the Air Traffic Control Association’s conference last week in Washington, D.C. “This incident in Chicago is also a stark reminder of the reasons that we are working toward an even more robust and scalable system.” The Next…

The CIOs of 2020 will lead with ‘soft skills’

Come 2020, a hard-nosed technical expertise is not going to cut it for federal IT leaders. Tomorrow’s IT leaders and the people who fill their vacancies are going to require business acumen and soft skills, like the ability to communicate, a group current federal chief information officers said Tuesday.

FAA preps NextGen summit, but questions remain about drones

Until recently, the FAA has been subject to criticism for not involving industry enough in the rollout and planning for NextGen. The “Call to Action” summit, scheduled for October 28, however, is designed to reverse that trend and garner broader industry support to meet the 2020 deadline to equip aircraft with new avionics technology.

Drones actually are coming to a movie set near you

In early June, the Motion Picture Association of America filed a request with the Federal Aviation Administration to use small unmanned aircraft systems while filming movies. Thursday, the Transportation Department granted its request.

As commercial space travel approaches, FAA issues recommendations

NASA isn’t the only federal player in space travel anymore. As commercial space travel gets closer to reality, the Federal Aviation Administration released a framework of recommended practices for human space flight safety.

Is the FAA organized for NextGen success?

Aviation industry leaders are optimistic about the state of current U.S. air traffic control systems, but they are also concerned about the ability of the Federal Aviation Administration to put new, technology-driven systems in place.

Will funding issues force FAA’s NextGen into a holding pattern?

The FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System, called NextGen, is a monumental effort to modernize air travel in the United States. But after a decade of development work and a fair amount of progress at 1,600 airports around the country, funding issues could delay the full promise of NextGen.

FAA allows use of drones in search for missing Texas woman

Christina Marie Morris of Fort Worth, Texas was last seen in Plano, Texas, Aug. 30, and after more than 10 days of searching on foot, by car and on horseback, the search will take to the skies via drone.

What to expect at NIST’s Global Cities Challenge

The Internet of Things, and the ways cities can leverage this emerging technology, is evolving at a rapid pace. Some cities have embraced it fully, while others are trying to keep up. Sokwoo Rhee, a presidential innovation fellow who is working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, hopes to close that gap during an upcoming conference where innovators will meet with global city planners in order to bring everyone up to speed. Rhee on Friday laid out the plans for NIST’s Global Cities Challenge, which will be held later this month at the agency’s Gaithersburg, Maryland, headquarters. The…

Preparing for America’s ‘next great industry’: Drones

As the Federal Aviation Administration conducts tests and reaches out to universities to research the integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace, commercial and recreational enthusiasts are not waiting for the agency’s 2015 deadline – they’re making sure the industry is ready when that day comes.

NHTSA begins to explore vehicle-to-vehicle communications

Technology that could save more than 1,000 lives on the road per year is one step closer to reality after the Transportation Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released an advance notice of proposed rule-making about vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology.

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