Unmanned Aircraft Systems: A Logical Choice for Homeland Security Support
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA DEPT OF NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS
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Unmanned aircraft systems UAS have been part of aviation from the beginnings of manned aviation and have become a vital tool in our overseas military and national security operations. Public and private sector interest continues to grow for the use of UAS in a variety of domestic missions, including border patrol, law enforcement, and search and rescue. With growing concerns over such issues as border security and critical infrastructure protection, it would seem that UAS would be a logical choice for increased homeland security support, and yet they still remain in limited use. This thesis examined why UAS are not widely used domestically for homeland security support. The results show that their sluggish integration into the National Airspace System stems from a perceived flight safety risk. However, the reality is that many UAS, like the Predator, have flight safety records equivalent to that of some manned aircraft. Even so, government, private industry, academia, and other UAS stakeholders should continue to work together to further UAS safety. Specifically, they should collaborate to improve UAS component reliability, develop aviation regulations and standards to account for peculiar UAS characteristics, and improve the publics perception of UAS safety.
- Pilotless Aircraft
- Commercial and General Aviation
- Civil Defense