UAV Testing Guidelines out of Edwards AFB

1. Proposals for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations should follow basic guidelines approved by the
CCB but each program will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis; especially in areas which deviate from the following guidelines. To ensure adequate time is available for sufficient review and consideration, the following are required for advance coordination. Additional time should be allocated if a high level of complexity in the proposal or deviations from the guidelines is anticipated. If shorter notice is given for less complex proposals, review and approvals will be handled on a workload permitting basis.
a. Initial contact for a new program or significant changes to an existing program should be no less than 6 months for Letter of Agreement (LOA) coordination and CCB consideration and approval.
b. LOA coordination requires at least 90 days from original request in writing. This agreement is dependent upon CCB concurrence with proposed operating procedures and the results of the safety review, but normally will be worked concurrently with other coordination.
c. If a previously coordinated program has not been active for more than 6 months, coordination with CCF is required at least 60 days prior to the first operation.
d. Final profile and scheduling of dates/times will be coordinated no less than 7 working days prior to the planned activity. CCF will evaluate each request and may require schedule changes to minimize impact on other missions. (See scheduling process listed below.) Profile changes require 3 working days advance notification to allow sufficient time to brief affected agencies. Changes not received within this time may affect airspace availability.
2. Safety Review to be accomplished by a CCB authorized review organization (AFFTC or NASA Dryden SRBs only) in accordance with standard Range Commanders Council (RCC) guidelines and shall as a minimum adhere to the CCB guidelines established below or provide a (CCB) accepted equivalent level of safety.
a. Requirement for flight termination system and written procedures addressing when it may be used. Procedures shall address, as a minimum:
(1) Need for redundancy in transponders and flight termination system (RCC 319-92, 313-94).
(2) Description of basic conditions which result in flight termination (i.e., loss of signal, specific data link command, flight plan deviation).
(3) Methodology for termination (i.e., break-apart, parachute recovery).
(4) Determination that footprint from flight termination will not impact no-fly areas (see specific flight plan profile guidelines).
b. Specific flight plan (path, altitude, speeds) profiles to include:
(1) All affected airspace.
(2) Incorporation of no-fly areas to avoid direct overflight or flight termination in these areas - to be developed by CCB.
(3) Avoidance of sharp turns within 5 NM (or greater, dependent on UAV's operational limitations) of the adjacent non-shared use airspace boundary - plan for turns to be completed no less than 3 miles of airspace boundary.
(4) Requirement to remain in VMC during all flight (includes chase aircraft).
(5) Operations without chase aircraft will be limited to at or above FL400.
(6) When a chase aircraft is required; it must be joined up before leaving internal restricted areas or Class D airspace, as appropriate.
(7) Minimum altitudes shall be no less than required by FARs and those sensitive areas identified in the R-2508 Complex User's Handbook.
(8) Willingness to operate in see-and-avoid environment; request for segregated operations will not be approved in shared use airspace (see R-2508 Complex User's Handbook).
(9) Operational constraints (i.e., distance from control vehicle, speeds, rate of turn).
(10) Procedures to change heading or altitude for traffic conflict or weather and proposed coordination process (include timeliness of response to requested action). Note: a program representative may be required in TRACON for operations coordination; address in proposal ability to support.
(11) Description of sensor operations and coordination with OPSEC
(12) Duration of flight
(13) Departure/planned recovery location(s)
c. Chase aircraft procedures, to include:
(1) Flight termination and guidance capabilities.
(2) Stand-off distance from UAV.
(3) Operational limitations, if any.
(4) Communications capabilities (with ground facilities and ATC).
(5) Process for affecting control of the UAV (direct or via ground facility).
(6) Join-up procedures, if not immediately after UAV airborne.
(7) Chase aircraft and operator briefing on Complex procedures.
d. System maturity.
(1) Description of prior operations which indicate reliability of system and data link in a similar configuration and operational procedures. (Proof of concept flights should be, to the maximum extent possible, contained within internal restricted areas until basic airworthiness has been demonstrated.)
(2) Contingency procedures (may be linked to flight termination) to address, as a minimum:
(a) Loss of internal navigation.
(b) Loss of signal up-link.
(c) Signal interference - based on spectrum management review of proposed frequency(ies).
(d) Deviation from flight path - proposed resulting action/ programmed response (for those UAVs dependent on flight termination signal, address when unable to initiate abort).
(e) Loss of tracking - position unknown.
(f) Loss of transponder - address redundancy requirements.
(g) Unsatisfactory performance - creates a safety hazard or reliability downgraded.
(h) DOD or other directed requirement to RTB early - incomplete or interrupted flight plan.
(i) Loss of control van power - redundancy of power supply to control van or back-up unit for control.
(j) Describe FAA coordination/ authorization and any operational restrictions that may exist.
(3) Basic recovery plan to include security issues and access coordination (see CCB/Land Management Agencies Letter of Agreement).
NOTE: Access to DOD lands (internal restricted areas) must also be addressed if this access is not pre-coordinated as part of the flight plan.
e. Description of need for or accomplishment of environmental assessment for the proposed activity.
3. After UAV operations have been approved by the appropriate safety review organization and a Letter of Agreement/Procedures has been accomplished between the proponent, High Desert TRACON and the CCB, individual operations must be appropriately scheduled and coordinated.

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