Exelis Inc., a U.S. aerospace company will soon be revealing a low-altitude surveillance system for drones. The system would allow drones to safely fly over long distances in order to complete a variety of tasks including inspections, surveying, and package deliveries.
Recently the FAA released proposed regulations for drones which would require that pilots keep drones in the line of sight at all times, making many tasks virtually impossible. However, NASA is working with Exelis and other companies, universities, and government agencies to create a new air traffic management system that would likely persuade the FAA to allow drones to go beyond the pilot’s line of sight.
Exelis’ products are called the Symphony UAS-Vue and the Range Vue. Exelis plans to market these products directly to companies that operate drones commercially in the U.S. and hopes to be part of whatever systems the FAA adopts when NASA has completed their prototype. Their prototype is said to be completed in the next three to five years. Until then, commercial pilots will have to keep their drones in their line of sight at all times, potentially limiting the possibilities of drone use.