UAS AND POLITICS.Senate confirmed David Barron to be United States Circuit Judge for the First Circuit

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 2nd Session

as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate

Vote Summary

Question: On the Nomination (Confirmation David Jeremiah Barron, of Massachusetts, to be U.S. Circuit udge for the First Circuit )
Vote Number: 162 Vote Date: May 22, 2014, 01:49 PM
Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Nomination Confirmed
Nomination Number: PN1185
Nomination Description: David Jeremiah Barron, of Massachusetts, to be United States Circuit Judge for the First Circuit
Vote Counts: YEAs 53
NAYs 45
Not Voting 2
Vote Summary By Senator Name By Vote Position By Home State


Alphabetical by Senator Name

Alexander (R-TN), Nay
Ayotte (R-NH), Nay
Baldwin (D-WI), Yea
Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
Begich (D-AK), Yea
Bennet (D-CO), Yea
Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea
Blunt (R-MO), Nay
Booker (D-NJ), Yea
Boozman (R-AR), Not Voting
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Brown (D-OH), Yea
Burr (R-NC), Nay
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Nay
Coats (R-IN), Not Voting
Coburn (R-OK), Nay
Cochran (R-MS), Nay
Collins (R-ME), Nay
Coons (D-DE), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Nay
Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
Cruz (R-TX), Nay
Donnelly (D-IN), Yea
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Fischer (R-NE), Nay
Flake (R-AZ), Nay
Franken (D-MN), Yea
Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Grassley (R-IA), Nay
Hagan (D-NC), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Hatch (R-UT), Nay
Heinrich (D-NM), Yea
Heitkamp (D-ND), Yea
Heller (R-NV), Nay
Hirono (D-HI), Yea
Hoeven (R-ND), Nay
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Johanns (R-NE), Nay
Johnson (D-SD), Yea
Johnson (R-WI), Nay
Kaine (D-VA), Yea
King (I-ME), Yea
Kirk (R-IL), Nay
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Landrieu (D-LA), Nay
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
Lee (R-UT), Nay
Levin (D-MI), Yea
Manchin (D-WV), Nay
Markey (D-MA), Yea
McCain (R-AZ), Nay
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Nay
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
Merkley (D-OR), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Moran (R-KS), Nay
Murkowski (R-AK), Nay
Murphy (D-CT), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Paul (R-KY), Nay
Portman (R-OH), Nay
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Risch (R-ID), Nay
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Rubio (R-FL), Nay
Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Schatz (D-HI), Yea
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Scott (R-SC), Nay
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shaheen (D-NH), Yea
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Yea
Thune (R-SD), Nay
Toomey (R-PA), Nay
Udall (D-CO), Yea
Udall (D-NM), Yea
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Walsh (D-MT), Yea
Warner (D-VA), Yea
Warren (D-MA), Yea
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wicker (R-MS), Nay
Wyden (D-OR), Yea


Source: U.S. Senate

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey bristles when he hears someone use the word drone

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT, May 22, 2014 – Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey bristles when he hears someone use the word drone.

“You will never hear me use the word ‘drone,’ and you’ll never hear me use the term ‘unmanned aerial systems,’” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said today. “Because they are not. They are remotely piloted aircraft.”

Dempsey spoke to Reuters and American Forces Press Service on his way back to Washington from Brussels and the 171st Chiefs of Defense Meeting at NATO headquarters.

The American people seem to have the image of robots “flying around semi-autonomously making their own decisions and conducting kinetic strikes without oversight by responsible human beings,” he said. “It’s not like that at all.”

There are more than 80 people for each remotely piloted vehicle, he said. They operate and maintain the aircraft, and analyze the information gathered. “It’s so important for us to remember that there is a man or woman in the loop,” he said.

And, whether a service member uses a bayonet or a remotely piloted aircraft with a Hellfire missile, “the ethical application of force applies,” Dempsey emphasized.

The law of armed conflict, the principles of war, U.S. ethics and legal bases apply no matter what the weapon, the chairman reiterated. “So, when we introduce remotely piloted aircraft into a theater in a Title 10 role, we apply the same standards,” he said.

The standards are predicated on the near-certainty of the effect — is the weapon going to do what the operators need it to do? Military personnel always assess the risk of collateral damage on people or buildings. And, “we ensure that we are achieving an effect with the appropriate behavior for the United States of America,” Dempsey said.

Remotely piloted aircraft are “a valid, useful and responsible military instrument in the way we use them,” he said. “So long as we continue to think of them that way and so long as we continue to use them in a transparent … ethical way, then I have no concerns about their use.”

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @garamoneAFPS)

By Jim Garamone

American Forces Press Service

Contact Author

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey
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Photo Essay

Live Science Special: The Future of Drones. Sky-High Hopes vs. Regulatory Realities

Could the skies one day be blackened by drones? Advances in technology suggest so, though the U.S. may fall behind as the tech flounders in regulatory limbo. Credit: By Karl Tate, Infographics Artist

When Raphael Pirker needed overhead shots for a commercial he was filming at the University of Virginia, instead of spending thousands of dollars to rent a helicopter, he attached a camera to a 5-lb. (2.3 kilograms) model airplane, creating a custom drone to capture high-flying aerial views of the campus. A year earlier, the 29-year-old photographer piloted a similar drone around the Statue of Liberty in New York, buzzing the monument’s iconic crown and recording stunning close-up views of Liberty Island and downtown Manhattan.

Drones have been used by the military for decades, but Pirker’s videos offer a glimpse of just one possible way these robotic fliers could be used in the future. As advances in technology have made drones smaller and more accessible, their potential applications are extending far beyond their use as warfighters for the military or toys for hobbyists.

And people are taking notice. In December 2013, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos created a buzz throughout the tech world when he introduced the idea of using drones to deliver goods to online shoppers. The proposal sparked people’s imaginations for how drones could be used commercially — bringing to mind images of city skies full of delivery drones carrying parcels to people’s doorsteps. [5 Surprising Ways Drones Could Be Used in the Future]

The technology for this same-day delivery service, dubbed Prime Air, is already being tested, according to Amazon, but the futuristic endeavor hinges on forthcoming guidelines from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the regulatory agency charged with overseeing civil aviation.

A new industry

Still, Amazon is not the only company investigating future uses for drones. In late March, Facebook purchased Ascenta, a U.K.-based aerospace company that manufactures solar-powered drones, for $20 million. And earlier this month, Google acquired Titan Aerospace, a solar-powered drone company that Facebook had reportedly also been courting, for an undisclosed amount.

Unmanned aerial vehicles have been increasingly popular in recent years. (See full infographic) Credit: by Ross Toro, Infographics Artist

Timeline and facts about unmanned drones.

Timeline and facts about unmanned drones.

The tech giants are thought to be using their fleets of high-altitude, solar-powered drones to extend the reach of Internet connectivity across the entire planet.

But tech entrepreneurs, artists and innovators are noticing the power of drone technology as well. Like Pirker, Hollywood filmmakers say drones offer an inexpensive way to capture aerial footage without the noise and unavoidable vibrations of helicopters; nonprofit organizations are experimenting with using drones to deliver provisions or medical supplies to desperate communities in remote locations; conservationists are already using drones to monitor animals in the wild without disturbing their natural habitats; and private companies are developing drones to assist with disaster-relief and search-and-rescue operations.

“Robotics — including drones — is going to be one of the most important and influential technologies of the 21st century,” John Villasenor, a professor of electrical engineering at UCLA and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit think tank based in Washington, D.C., told Live Science. “So it’s not surprising that they have led to so much interest and discussions, not only in the business community but also more broadly.”

While still a burgeoning industry, worldwide spending on drones is expected to more than double over the next decade, totaling just more than $89 billion by the year 2023, according to a market study published last year by Teal Group Corp., an aerospace and defense research company based in Fairfax, Va. In fact, the FAA estimates that as many as 7,500 small commercial drones could be operational within five years in the United States.

“We are going to see an explosion of drone entrepreneurship in the coming years,” said Timothy Reuter, president of the D.C. Area Drone User Group, a community organization dedicated to teaching people how to build and operate personal drones. “Aerial photography and videography will be the gateway drug, but it’s going to extend so far beyond that, and we’re going to see people do really exciting things with this technology.” [How Unmanned Drone Aircraft Work (Infographic)]

What the future holds

But the road ahead could take more complicated efforts than merely tinkering with the technology and adjusting to the thought of seeing drones whiz by overhead, experts say. And it’s Pirker who’s been at the center of these discussions.

Pirker’s aerial tours over lower Manhattan and the University of Virginia made him something of a pioneer, but the trailblazer is also at the heart of a decisive legal battle against the U.S. government.

In 2011, Pirker became the first and only drone operator fined by the FAA for flying a drone without a license. The agency fined Pirker $10,000 for his aerial stunt over the University of Virginia, claiming the photographer flew recklessly close to buildings and people. The first-of-its-kind penalty was appealed and brought before Patrick Geraghty, a federal judge with the National Transportation Safety Board. Last month, Geraghty ruled that despite the FAA’s protestations, there are currently no laws in place banning commercial drones, and effectively dismissed the fine against Pirker.

The ruling was considered a victory for the burgeoning domestic drone industry, but it was just the beginning of a complex legal fight.

Pirker may have found himself at the vanguard of drone technology — what some predict could revolutionize the field of personal robotics — but he is hardly the only innovator who sees vast commercial potential for drones. Yet with the technology currently floundering in regulatory limbo, the United States may be in danger of falling behind in the industry, with innovation and the potential economic benefits from drones mired in bureaucracy, experts say.

“One of the things that’s sad is the U.S. regulatory environment is really holding us back,” Reuter told Live Science. “While the rest of the world is rapidly moving ahead, we are losing ground in international competitiveness.”

Legal hurdles

The FAA, which did not respond by publish time to multiple requests for comment from Live Science, has barred the commercial use of drones until regulations are developed to ensure the unmanned aerial bots can be safely operated in cities, near buildings and people, and in the same airspace as manned aircraft. Late last year, the agency released a preliminary road map detailing its plan to adopt oversight of unmanned aircraft operations. Still, regulations for small drones that weigh less than 55 lbs. (25 kg) are expected no earlier than 2015, and it could be years later before rules are finalized for larger vehicles.

“In a way, drones have advanced so quickly that the law hasn’t caught up with the technology,” said Daniel Burrus, a technology futurist and the founder and CEO of Burrus Research, a Wisconsin-based research and consulting firm. “Until we get a ruling, it’s a bit like the Wild West.”

Meanwhile, other countries — including Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom — have already enacted more favorable policies toward the development of drones and commercial applications of the technology, said Brendan Schulman, Pirker’s attorney and a special counsel at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel in New York City.

In Japan, for instance, some farmers have been using a radio-controlled drone designed by the Yamaha Motor Co. to spray fertilizers andpesticides over crops for the past 20 years.

But there are regulatory bodies in other countries that are taking just as restrictive an approach to drones as the FAA, at least for the time being, Schulman said.

“Ours is not a unique position in the world, but it’s certainly not progressive at all,” he added. “There are countries that are far ahead of ours, in terms of supporting, promoting and authorizing the commercial use of drones.” [Photos from Above: 8 Cool Camera-Carrying Drones]

This is precisely why industry stakeholders are closely following the Pirker case, said Ryan Calo, an assistant professor of law at the University of Washington in Seattle. Pirker’s case represents the first time the legality of the FAA’s commercial ban has been examined, and the outcome could have important implications for drone operators in the future.

Even though the judge ruled in Pirker’s favor last month, the FAA has appealed the decision, and the ensuing legal process could alter the current regulatory environment and offer a glimpse into how the agency may handle the 2015 regulations.

“Pirker is a really good test case,” Calo told Live Science. “Ultimately, I don’t see a scenario where what the FAA does collapses the industry, but it could delay things and give other countries a competitive advantage. Arguably, it has already slowed the development of the industry.”

Regulation vs. innovation

Still, regulations are a necessary part of integrating any type ofemerging technology into societies, Burrus said.

“Whenever you have a new technology that could create a hazard or could hurt people, you need rules and regulations,” he explained.

Textron Systems Unmanned Systems Delivers 4,500 Monthly Mission Hours, Additional FFS Operational Site Under New Navy ISR Services Task Order

HUNT VALLEY, Md. — May, 2014 —  Textron Systems Unmanned Systems, a business of the Textron Systems segment of Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT), announced t a new task order under the U.S. Navy Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Services program that is expected to reach full operational capability by the end of May. Award of this new task order is in addition to extension of existing task orders, bringing the total monthly mission hours provided under the contract to 4,500 across all international sites.

Under the ISR Services indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity program, Textron Systems Unmanned Systems provides end-to-end, turnkey mission support with its Aerosonde Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) — delivered by the company’s own operators and supported by its field service specialists.

“This fee-for-service [FFS] structure brings tremendous customer value — ramp-up time is minimized, and concerns such as training, logistics and sustainment are handled by our team,” says David Phillips, vice president, Small/Medium Endurance Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Textron Systems Unmanned Systems. “Our customers — in this case, the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force,Army — simply concentrate on the mission with a reliable, high-performance asset continuously at the ready.”

The company is maintaining operational readiness rates over 98 percent for its Navy ISR Services customers, delivering multi-mission flexibility with the Aerosonde SUAS, which is equipped for simultaneous electro-optical infrared and communications relay within a single aircraft. The system is designed for expeditionary operations under the most austere conditions. The recent addition of the new EL-005 engine designed and manufactured by manned aviation engine expert Lycoming Engines has improved both reliability and performance.

“With benchmark-setting reliability and proven multi-mission capability, our Aerosonde SUAS provides customers with outstanding value and performance,” says Phillips. “Equally important, it maintains a small, expeditionary footprint ideal for persistent ISR, border patrol, critical infrastructure protection, and so many other military and commercial mission sets.”

About Textron Systems

Textron Systems’ businesses develop and integrate products, services and support for aerospace and defense customers, as well as civil and commercial customers including those in law enforcement, security, border patrol and critical infrastructure protection around the globe. Harnessing agility and a broad base of expertise, Textron Systems’ innovative businesses design, manufacture, field and support comprehensive solutions that expand customer capabilities and deliver value. Textron Systems consists of its Advanced Information Solutions, Electronic Systems, Geospatial Solutions, Lycoming Engines, Marine & Land Systems, Support Solutions, TRU Simulation + Training, Unmanned Systems and Weapon & Sensor Systems businesses. More information is available at

About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit

# # #

Textron Systems Unmanned Systems is a business of the Textron Systems segment of Textron Inc. © 2014 AAI Corporation. All rights reserved.

Certain statements in this press release may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update them. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

Source Textron 5

Airbus, Dassault Aviation and Alenia Aermacchi propose joint approach to Europe’s next generation drone

Berlin/Paris/Rome. Europe’s Industry is ready to develop a next generation advanced European Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). After their call for the development of a European drone at last year’s Paris Airshow, the three most relevant European aeronautical companies have now agreed on further details for a joint approach.

Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation and Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, delivered a proposal for further defining a European UAS to the Ministry of Defence of France, Germany and Italy. The offer proposes a Definition Phase which has been prepared by joint development teams of Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation and Alenia Aermacchi and which is backed by an industrial agreement on workshare and a cooperative agreement to start the MALE2020 program.

The definition phase foresees that the three nations define and adjust their requirements for a European UAS development together with their armed forces and the European industry. The definition phase also serves to avoid costly additional developments during production and to reduce financial and development risks to a minimum. A commitment by the nations on the further development of the European UAS has then to be made after finalizing this definition phase: the plan of the Industries leads to an affordable and certifiable solution ready by 2020.

Bernhard Gerwert, CEO Airbus Defence and Space said: “We have reached an important milestone for the development of a European MALE Drone. The need for our armed forces is indisputable. We are highly motivated to continue our discussions with the Ministries of Defence and are looking forward to launch this first step soon.”

Eric Trappier, CEO Dassault Aviation said: “It is a unique opportunity to develop in Europe this strategic capacity. For the first time industry starts a project by having a full agreement on the general workshare of the MALE2020 programme. The proposal for the definition phase has been commonly elaborated with joint design teams and therefore demonstrates our industry’s strong commitment to this program.”

Giuseppe Giordo, Alenia Aermacchi’s CEO, said: “We identify a clear opportunity for the armed forces to take advantage of an advanced sovereign ISTAR capability to cope with the future high level requirements. Now is the time to drive technology forward and secure Europe’s capability in building the next generation of military air system as well as maintain talent and expertise in our industry. ”

Several European nations announced their requirement for unmanned aerial systems. Also the results of the EU Defence Summit in december 2013 allude to an urgent need. The Conclusions of the European Council recognize the development of a MALE UAS as a key capability for European defence.

In light of an increasing dependency of European states on non-european defence equipment, Europe’s largest military aviation companies started in June 2013 a joint call for sustaining key capabilities and therefore the continent’s sovereignty in constructing the future of military aircraft.

The timeframe of the decision to launch the European UAS is now critical in order to meet this goal.

Europe’s largest manufacturers for military aircraft thereby continue the common path for a UAS MALE (Medium altitude – long endurance) program as proposed during Paris Airshow 2013. The three partners are confident in the value of their proposal and are ready to move forward.

About MALE 2020

The MALE 2020 Project foresees the development of an European Unmanned Aerial System for long-range missions at medium flight altitudes (MALE). Besides being an answer to the European armed forces’ requirements, it will take into account the need to optimize the difficult budgetary situation through pooling of research and development funding. With a souvereign European development, critical requirements around the certification of drones are inherently built into the programme from the onset. MALE 2020 is orientated to foster the development of high technologies and contribute to sustaining key competencies and jobs within Europe.

About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space is a division of Airbus Group formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military. The new division is Europe’s number one defence and space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide and among the top ten global defence enterprises. It employs some 40,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €14 billion per year.

About Dassault Aviation

With over 8,000 military and civil aircraft delivered to 83 countries over the last 60 years, logging some 28 million hours in flight, Dassault Aviation has built up expertise recognized worldwide in the design, development, sale and support of all types of aircraft, ranging from the Rafale fighter to the high-end Falcon family of business jets and military drones. Dassault Aviation posted sales of 4.59 billion euros in 2013, and has nearly 11,600 employees.

About Alenia Aermacchi

Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, has a role of primary importance in the world’s civil and defence aeronautical industry, counts a total workforce of ca. 11,000 people and operates in the design, development, production and integrated support of commercial and military aircraft, trainers, unmanned aerial vehicles and aerostructures. In 2013 it reported revenues of € 3.34 billion, orders of € 3.98 billion and a backlog of € 9.0 billion

Press Contacts:

Airbus Defence and Space

Florian Taitsch
Mobile: +49 (0)151 16831052

Alenia Aermacchi

Marco Valerio Bonelli
Mobile: +39 335 6686531

Dassault Aviation

Nathalie Bakhos
Phone: + 33 (0)1 47 11 65 11

State of Oklahoma announces the newly created International Consortium of Aeronautical Test Sites (ICATS)




Dr. Stephen McKeever, Secretary of Science & Technology State of Oklahoma, announces the newly created International Consortium of Aeronautical Test Sites (ICATS) while speaking with Avionics Intelligence’s Courtney Howard at AUVSI 2014.

Source: Military & Aerospace Electronics·

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