National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Conference at NASA Ames Talks Drone Safety, Privacy Risks

A conference on how to manage drones was held Tuesday at the NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View.

Hundreds attended the conference, which aimed at discussing ways to use drones without putting your safety or privacy at risk.

While the unmanned aircraft may not be able to soar higher than a few hundred feet, there are many who said the uses for drones are limitless.

"You're going to see drones reshaping a lot of dangerous jobs like inspecting power lines and cell towers, and flying over farm fields," said Jesse Kallman of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

Drones, however, have become an issue on the fire lines.

The most extreme example came just weeks ago when a drone risk grounded air tankers trying to battle a fire on Interstate 15. The blaze swept over the highway, engulfing 20 cars.

Tuesday's conference also discussed who should be allowed to fly drones and where drone flying should be permitted.

Experts said drones are not always a safety threat and can also be used as a safety tool.

"The San Francisco Fire Department can use a drone to see how bad the fire is before they get there or bring in medical supplies to someone you can't reach because of traffic," Kallman said.

Drone research may also lead to improvements in other industries.

"It won't be long before this technology can be used on general aviation air crafts," said Guy Kemmerly of the NASA Langley Research Center.

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