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Motorola Solutions, Inc.

1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 900


Washington, DC 20004
USA

July 24, 2015


U.S. Department of Transportation
Docket Management System
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
Washington, D.C. 20590
Re:

Motorola Solutions, Inc. Petition for Exemption Pursuant to Section 333 of the
FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and Part 11 of the Federal Aviation
Regulations

Dear Sir or Madam:


Pursuant to Section 333 of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and
Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA) and Part 11 of the of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR),
Motorola Solutions, Inc. (Motorola Solutions or Petitioner) hereby petitions the FAA for
authority to operate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Motorola Solutions seeks to use a
tethered aerial device1 for research and development (R&D), situational awareness via aerial
data collection, and provision of communications links. As this petition is similar in all material
respects to other petitions the FAA has granted, Motorola Solutions requests summary approval
of this petition.
Motorola Solutions is a global industry leader in communications infrastructure, devices, system
software and applications, and associated services. Motorola Solutions has a robust government
segment which offers extensive communications products services to government, public safety
and first-responder agencies, municipalities and commercial and industrial customers who
operate private communications networks and manage a mobile workforce. With 14,000
employees in 60 countries, Motorola Solutions is a pioneer for mobile technology innovations.

Until recently, the FAA specifically excluded tethered aircraft from its definition of unmanned aircraft.
See Integration of Civil UAS in the National Airspace System (NAS) Roadmap, First Edition 2013, at 8 and 49
([Unmanned Aircraft] UA do not include . . . tethered aircraft.); see also UAS Operational Approval, FAA Order
8900.227, July 30, 2013, at A-5 (UA do not include . . . tethered aircraft.). Motorola Solutions believes that the
unique features of PARCs tethered operations differentiate it from unmanned aircraft that operate unrestricted and
untethered, which clearly fall within the FAAs definition of unmanned aircraft. Motorola Solutions submits this
petition to the extent that the FAA may require the operators of tethered aerial devices to obtain exemption authority
to operate such devices in the NAS. Motorola Solutions hereby reserves and does not waive its legal right to assert
that its PARC aerial device does not constitute an unmanned aircraft.

Following its investment in CyPhy Works, Inc., Motorola Solutions seeks to add tethered aerial
devices to its portfolio of public safety solutions. Through this petition, Motorola Solutions
proposes to operate CyPhy Works Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communication
System (PARC) for R&D relating to the use of tethered aerial devices for public safety
purposes including aerial data collection for situational awareness and the provision of
communications links. Motorola Solutions also proposes to operate PARC in the context of
providing trials and demonstrations of its capabilities to first responders and other public safety
users. Motorola Solutions seeks to begin familiarizing these entities with the potential public
safety solutions that PARC can provide, facilitating the transition to aerial technology that can
enhance the quality, efficiency, and safety of public safety operations.
I.

PUBLIC INTEREST BENEFITS OF GRANT OF THIS PETITION

The operations proposed herein will have enormous public interest benefits while presenting
little to no risk to persons or aircraft. The public depends on first responders, law enforcement,
and other entities to maintain peace and safety by responding quickly to dangerous situations.
Tethered aerial devices can perform aerial data collection that obviates or greatly reduces the
need to send people on foot or in helicopters to dangerous areas. They can also provide crucial
communications links to people on the ground. Motorola Solutions R&D efforts will explore
and perfect the use of tethered aerial devices for these and other public safety functions, greatly
improving the efficiency, safety, success, and cost-effectiveness of public safety operations.
Motorola Solutions proposed trials and demonstrations will similarly benefit the public
interestthese operations will help to familiarize public safety entities with tethered aerial
devices and the important functions they can serve. This firsthand experience will help illustrate
the need, justify expenditures, and otherwise facilitate the entities transition to this valuable
technology.
Motorola Solutions operations also present little to no risk to persons or aircraft. Operations
will be conducted on private or controlled-access property pursuant to the stringent operating
conditions provided herein. PARC will be tethered to ground at all times, presenting very little
risk of loss of control. It will carry neither a pilot nor passengers. It will carry no explosive
materials nor flammable liquid fuels. Finally, PARC does not pose any threat to national
security due to its size, speed of operation, location of operation, tether-limited range, lack of
explosive materials or flammable liquid fuels, and inability to carry a substantial external load.
II.

REQUEST FOR SUMMARY GRANT

Motorola Solutions respectfully requests that the FAA issue a summary grant to this petition for
exemption. Summary treatment is warranted where, as here, the agency has already granted a
previous exemption similar to the new request. This petition is similar in all material respects to
relief previously requested in other grants of exemption.2 Motorola Solutions requests use of
UAS for research and development, situational awareness via aerial data collection, and
provision of communications links. The FAA has defined aerial data collection to include any
remote sensing and measuring by an instrument(s) aboard the UAS including photography,

See, e.g. Grant of Exemption Nos. 11062, 11109, 11112, and 11213.

video, and infrared, or any other gathering of data by instruments aboard the UAS.3 The FAA
has granted numerous petitions for research and development, aerial data collection, and
telecommunications.4 Accordingly, this petition merits summary grant.
III.

THE UAS

Motorola Solutions proposes to conduct operations using the CyPhy Works, Inc. PARC.5 PARC
is a small aerial, hex-rotor, tethered device that may elevate up to 400 feet, but at all times
remains securely tethered to the ground. The tensile tether, in addition to securing the aerial
device to the ground, is both a power source and a data communications transmission
mechanism. PARC is unusual not only due to the tether feature and its unique properties and
functions, but also because it is typically stationary once it reaches its desired altitude and is
designed to remain in place at that elevation for extended periods of time. PARC weighs
approximately 21.75 lbs. when operating with its full payload capacity of 3.6 lbs.
The device is designed to initiate an automatic landing in the event that the tether is cut, the
power to the device is lost, or if communications with the base station are interrupted. In such
situations, PARC makes a controlled descent and gently lands in place. Because PARC receives
its power from the ground, it does not rely on fuel. It also is not battery-operated (although it
does have a small onboard battery, which is a safety feature to enable a controlled descent and
landing in the unlikely event that the tether is compromised, or if ground-based power or
communications with the operator are interrupted). Thus, the operation of PARC does not
involve any of the safety risks associated with airborne fuel or battery operations. In addition,
tether-based command and communication is a wired function, and is not subject to radio
interference interruption.
IV.

THE FAAS LEGAL AUTHORITY TO GRANT THIS PETITION

The FAA has authority to grant the exemption requested herein pursuant to Section 333 of the
FMRA and Section 44701 of the Federal Aviation Act. The Federal Aviation Act authorizes the
Administrator of the FAA to grant exemptions from regulations prescribed under certain
provisions of the Act where such exemptions are in the public interest.6 The FAA has
established an exemption process in Part 11 of the FAR.7 The FMRA deals specifically with the
integration of UAS into the national airspace, directing the Secretary of Transportation to
3

Grant of Exemption No. 11956, n.1.

See, e.g. Grant of Exemption Nos. 11574 (authorizing use of UAS for research and development); 11895
(authorizing use of UAS for research and development); 11946 (authorizing use of UAS for aerial data collection);
11956 (authorizing use of UAS for aerial data collection); 11941 (authorizing use of UAS to provide
telecommunications); 11256 (authorizing use of UAS to provide telecommunications).

CyPhy Works confidentially submitted the PARC Operators Technical Manual to the FAA in connection
with the companys Petition for Exemption Pursuant to Section 333 of the FMRA, Docket No. FAA-2015-0836
(posted Mar. 30, 3015).
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49 U.S.C. 44701(f) (The Administrator may grant an exemption from a requirement of a regulation
prescribed under subsection (a) or (b) of this section or any of sections 4470244716 of this title if the Administrator
finds the exemption is in the public interest.)
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See 49 C.F.R. Part 11.

determine which UAS, as a result of their size, weight, speed, operational capability, proximity
to airports and populated areas, and operation within visual line of sight do not create a hazard to
users of the national airspace system or the public or pose a threat to national security.8 Section
333 further directs the Secretary to establish requirements for the safe operation of such aircraft
systems in the national airspace system.9 The FAA has granted hundreds of exemptions
pursuant to its Section 333 and exemption authority that have enabled commercial UAS
operations in a wide variety of industries.
V.

APPLICANT INFORMATION

The name and address of the applicant is:


Bruce Mueller
Director, Office of the CTO
Motorola Solutions, Inc.
1301 E Algonquin Rd
Schaumburg, IL 60067
(847) 576-1320
Bruce.D.Mueller@MotorolaSolutions.com
VI.

OPERATING PARAMETERS

The limitations and conditions to which Motorola Solutions agrees to be bound when using UAS
under an FAA-issued exemption include:
1.

UAS operations will be conducted by a pilot-in-command (PIC) holding either


an airline transport, commercial, private, recreational or sport pilot certificate and
a current FAA airman medical certificate or a valid U.S. drivers license issued by
a state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, a territory, a possession, or the
Federal government.

2.

The operator may not permit any PIC to operate unless the PIC demonstrates the
ability to safely operate the UAS in a manner consistent with how the UAS will
be operated under this exemption, including evasive and emergency maneuvers
and maintaining appropriate distances from persons, vessels, vehicles and
structures.

3.

UAS may not be flown at ground speeds exceeding 87 knots.

4.

Flights will be operated at an altitude of no more than 400 feet AGL.10

Pub. L. No. 112-95, 126 Stat. 75-76 (codified as a Note to 49 U.S.C. 40101).

Id.

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Petitioner notes that the FAAs current policy is to issue a blanket Certificate of Waiver or Authorization
(COA) to Section 333 exemption holders for flights at or below 200 feet. If this petition is granted, Petitioner will

5.

UAS must be operated within visual line-of-sight (VLOS) of the pilot at all
times.

6.

The operator is responsible for maintaining and inspecting the UAS to ensure that
it is in a condition for safe operation.

7.

Prior to each flight, the PIC must conduct a pre-flight inspection and determine
the UAS is in a condition for safe flight.

8.

The operator must follow the UAS manufacturers maintenance, overhaul,


replacement, inspection, and life limit requirements for the aircraft and aircraft
components and comply with all manufacturer safety bulletins.

9.

UAS operations may not be conducted during night, as defined in 14 C.F.R. 1.1.
All operations must be conducted under visual meteorological conditions
(VMC). Flights under special visual flight rules (SVFR) are not authorized.

10.

The UA may not operate within 5 nautical miles of an airport reference point
(ARP) as denoted in the current FAA Airport/Facility Directory (AFD) or for
airports not denoted with an ARP, the center of the airport symbol as denoted on
the current FAA-published aeronautical chart, unless a letter of agreement with
that airports management is obtained or otherwise permitted by a Certificate of
Waiver or Authorization (COA) issued to the exemption holder. The letter of
agreement with the airport management must be made available to the
Administrator or any law enforcement official upon request.

11.

If the UAS loses communications or loses its GPS signal, it must return to a predetermined location within the planned operating area.

12.

The PIC must abort the flight in the event of unpredicted obstacles and
emergencies.

13.

All operations shall be conducted in accordance with an ATO-issued COA.

14.

The UA must remain clear and give way to all manned aviation operations and
activities at all times.

15.

All operations shall be conducted over private or controlled-access property with


permission from the property owner/controller or authorized representative.

operate below 200 feet in accordance with the terms of this blanket exemption. Petitioner may also file for a
separate COA to operate over 200 feet.

VII.

SPECIFIC SECTIONS OF 14 C.F.R. FROM WHICH PETITIONER SEEKS AN


EXEMPTION

Motorola Solutions requests exemption from the following FARS to the extent necessary to
enable the requested UAS operations for the reasons detailed below:
14 C.F.R. 61.23(a) and (c);
14 C.F.R. 61.101(e)(4) and (5);
14 C.F.R. 61.113(a);
14 C.F.R. 61.315(a);
14 C.F.R. 91.7(a);
14 C.F.R. 91.119(c);
14 C.F.R. 91.121;
14 C.F.R. 91.151(a)(1);
14 C.F.R. 91.405(a);
14 C.F.R. 91.407(a)(1);
14 C.F.R. 91.409(a)(1) and (2);
14 C.F.R. 91.417(a) and (b).
A.

14 C.F.R. 61.23(a) and (c) Medical certificates: Requirement and duration; 14


C.F.R. 61.101(e)(4) and (5) Recreational pilot privileges and limitations; 14
C.F.R. 61.113(a) Private pilot privileges and limitations; 14 C.F.R. 61.315(a)
What are the privileges and limits of my sport pilot certificate.

Because the UAS will not carry a pilot or passengers, the proposed operations can achieve the
equivalent level of safety for its UAS operations by requiring the PIC operating the aircraft to
have either an airline transport, commercial, private, recreational or sport pilot certificate and a
current FAA airman medical certificate or a valid U.S. drivers license. Unlike a conventional
aircraft that carries the pilot and passengers, the UAS is remotely controlled with no living thing
on board. The level of safety provided by the operating parameters exceeds that provided by a
single individual holding a commercial pilots certificate operating a conventional aircraft. The
risks associated with the operation of the UAS are so diminished from the level of risk associated
with commercial operations that was contemplated by Part 61 when it was drafted, that allowing
operations of the UAS as requested with a private pilot as the PIC exceeds the present level of
safety achieved by the above cited rule sections. The FAA issued an exemption to this
regulation in Grant of Exemption No. 11210, among others.
B.

14 C.F.R. 91.7(a) Civil Aircraft Airworthiness

Petitioner seeks an exemption from 14 C.F.R. 91.7(a), which requires that a civil aircraft be in
airworthy condition to be operated. As there will be no airworthiness certificate issued for the
UAS, approval of this exemption should be granted because no FAA regulatory standard will
exist for determining airworthiness. Given the UAS size and the operating requirements listed
herein, an equivalent level of safety to this rule will be achieved. The FAA has issued an
exemption to this rule in Exemption No. 11911, among others.
C.

14 C.F.R. 91.119(c) Minimum safe altitudes over congested and other areas
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Section 91.119(c) establishes safe altitudes for operation of civil aircraft over areas other than
congested areas. Petitioner requests relief from this section with respect to those participating
persons, vehicles, and structures directly involved the UAS operations. The UAS will never
operate at higher than 400 AGL. Relief from this provision is warranted as operations will be
conducted with the safety provisions as outlined herein. The FAA issued an exemption to this
regulation in Grant of Exemption No. 11062, among others.
D.

14 C.F.R. 91.121 Altimeter Settings

This regulation requires each person operating an aircraft to maintain cruising altitude by
reference to an altimeter that is set to the elevation of the departure airport or an appropriate
altimeter setting available before departure. This requirement is inapplicable to Petitioners
UAS, which does not utilize an altimeter. Petitioners UAS relies on a digital barometric sensor
and/or GPS altitude readout. To the extent that an exemption from this requirement is necessary,
Petitioner notes that an equivalent level of safety will be achieved by the operator using these
sensors to confirm the altitude of the launch site before flight. The FAA issued an exemption to
this regulation in Grant of Exemption No. 11166, among others.
E.

14 C.F.R. 91.151(a)(1) Fuel requirements for flight in VFR conditions

Section 91.151(a)(1) prohibits an individual from beginning a flight in an airplane under VFR
conditions unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to fly
to the first point of intended landing, and, assuming normal cruising speed (1) During the day,
to fly after that for at least 30 minutes. PARC is not powered by fuel; it has a tether-powered
operational system. Given the limitations on the UASs proposed flight area, this requirement is
unnecessary. Operating the small UAS in controlled areas does not engender the type of risks
that 91.151(a)(1) was intended to alleviate given the size and speed of the small UAS. The
FAA issued an exemption to this regulation for UAS operations in Grant of Exemption No.
11204, among others.
F.

14 C.F.R. 91.405(a) Maintenance required; 14 C.F.R. 91.407(a)(1) Operation


after maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding or alteration; 14 C.F.R.
91.409(a)(1) and (2) Inspections; 14 C.F.R. 91.417(a) and (b) Maintenance
records

These regulations require that an aircraft operator or owner shall have that aircraft inspected as
prescribed in subpart E of this part and shall between required inspections, except as provided in
paragraph (c) of this section, have discrepancies repaired as prescribed in part 43 of this
chapter..., and others shall inspect or maintain the aircraft in compliance with Part 43.
Given that these sections and Part 43 apply only to aircraft with an airworthiness certificate,
these sections will not apply to Petitioner. Maintenance will be accomplished by the operator
pursuant to the manufacturers requirements. An equivalent level of safety will be achieved
because these small UAS are very limited in size and will carry a small payload and operate only
in controlled areas for limited periods of time. If mechanical issues arise, the UAS can land
immediately and will be operating from no higher than 400 feet AGL. The operator will ensure
that the UAS is in working order prior to initiating flight. Moreover, the operator is the person
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most familiar with the aircraft and best suited to maintain the aircraft in an airworthy condition to
provide the equivalent level of safety. The FAA issued an exemption to these regulations in
Grant of Exemption No. 11062, among others.
Such other relief as the FAA deems appropriate to enable the requested operations.
Motorola Solutions also requests exemption from such other FARS as the FAA deems
appropriate to enable the requested operations. If, during the effective dates of any Grant of
Exemption issued pursuant to this Petition, the FAA issues interim or final rules for small UAS,
Motorola Solutions requests that it be relieved of the requirements of any conditions and
limitations of said exemption and allowed to comply with any less burdensome applicable
regulations that may have become effective.
VIII. SUMMARY TO BE PUBLISHED IN FEDERAL REGISTER
Petitioner: Motorola Solutions, Inc.
Sections of 14 C.F.R. Affected: 14 C.F.R. 61.23(a) and (c); 14 C.F.R. 61.101(e)(4) and (5);
14 C.F.R. 61.113(a); 14 C.F.R. 61.315(a); 14 C.F.R. 91.7(a); 14 C.F.R. 91.119(c); 14
C.F.R. 91.121; 14 C.F.R. 91.151(a)(1); 14 C.F.R. 91.405(a); 14 C.F.R. 91.407(a)(1); 14
C.F.R. 91.409(a)(1) and (2); 14 C.F.R. 91.417(a) and (b).
Description of Relief Sought: Petitioner seeks relief from the requirements of 14 C.F.R. Part 21
Subpart H; 14 C.F.R. 21.191(a); 14 C.F.R. 45.23(b); 14 C.F.R. 45.27; 14 C.F.R.
61.23(a) and (c); 14 C.F.R. 61.101(e)(4) and (5); 14 C.F.R. 61.113(a); 14 C.F.R.
61.315(a); 14 C.F.R. 91.7(a); 14 C.F.R. 91.119(c); 14 C.F.R. 91.121; 14 C.F.R.
91.151(a)(1); 14 C.F.R. 91.405(a); 14 C.F.R. 91.407(a)(1); 14 C.F.R. 91.409(a)(1) and
(2); 14 C.F.R. 91.417(a) and (b) to operate a tethered aerial device for research and
development, situational awareness via aerial data collection, and provision of communications
links.
IX.

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, Motorola Solutions respectfully requests that the FAA grant this
petition for exemption. This petition satisfies the criteria found in Section 333 of the FMRA
regarding size, weight, speed, operating capabilities, proximity to airports and populated areas,
operation within visual line-of-sight, and national security. Use of the UAS as proposed in this
petition would benefit the public.
Please do not hesitate to contact Petitioners outside counsel, Katy Ross of Wiley Rein LLP, at
202-719-7410 (kmross@wileyrein.com) with any questions about this filing.
Sincerely,
/s/ Catherine Seidel
Catherine Seidel
Chief, North American and International
Spectrum and Regulatory Policy
Motorola Solutions, Inc.
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1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.


Washington, DC 20004
(202) 371-6900