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July/August 2010

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ASTM International Committee F38 Cooperates with FAA on Small UAS Standards Development

Committee to Develop Standards to Support Integration of sUAS into U.S. National Airspace System

ASTM International Committee F38 on Unmanned Aircraft Systems was recently requested by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to assist with the development of industry consensus standards to support the integration of small unmanned aircraft systems into the U.S. national airspace system.

Following a model that was successfully used for the integration of light sport aircraft some years ago, the FAA is considering the issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking first, followed by a Special Federal Aviation Regulation that would permit sUAS to fly in the national airspace system for compensation or hire. Prior to any such sUAS operations, the FAA would require operators to comply with rules and standards to ensure the safety of other airspace users as well as persons and property on the ground. In August 2009, the FAA queried standards development organizations regarding their ability to create a finite set of standards that would be uniquely applicable to this sector; ASTM Committee F38 was one of only two bodies approved to perform this groundbreaking work.

During an F38 strategic planning meeting held in February, FAA representatives provided preliminary guidance and choices for a suite of priority standards. The members of F38 then built a framework for this standards work, assigned technical leads and committed to a timeline for completion. The result is an aggressive standards development program that includes 14 new standards to be developed by October of this year as well as a list of additional standards that have been placed in the queue. Technical personnel from all disciplines, including pilots, sensor operators and engineers, are being sought to assist the committee in this process.

Meeting to discuss training programs

Anthony Quinn (left), ASTM, and Rula Madanat, JISM, discussed opportunties for potential training programs.

ASTM’s Quinn Speaks at ARADO Workshop

Meeting with Rula Madanat of Jordanian Standards Body Also Held

Anthony Quinn, director of public policy and international trade, ASTM International, met with Rula Madanat, assistant director general for technical affairs, Jordan Institution for Standards and Metrology in Amman, Jordan. The meeting was held in conjunction with a three-day workshop sponsored by the Arab Administrative Development Organization (ARADO). The meeting allowed for JISM and ASTM to discuss potential opportunities for additional training programs.

At the workshop, Quinn made a presentation on the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade agreement to a group of industry and government officials from the Middle East. Madanat also presented at the workshop, highlighting the benefits of maintaining a memorandum of understanding with ASTM International for technical assistance and using ASTM standards as a basis for technical regulations.

Capitol Hill briefing on insulation

Participants in the Capitol Hill briefing on insulation included (left to right): Charles Cottrell, North American Insulation Manufacturers Association; Anthony Quinn, ASTM International; and Richard Duncan, Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance.

ASTM International Co-Sponsors Capitol Hill Briefing on Insulation

Hearing Held in Conjunction with U.S. House High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition

In March, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to customers and employees at a Home Depot store in Virginia and said insulation is sexy. “Here’s what’s sexy about it: saving money,” said the president. On March 25, ASTM International co-sponsored a briefing for congressional staff and members of Congress on Capitol Hill entitled “High-Performance Insulation: Increasing Energy Efficiency, Protecting the Environment, Creating Jobs, and Stimulating Our Economy.” The briefing highlighted the impact of insulation on reducing energy costs.

Given that it is usually unseen in buildings, insulation is often overlooked and undervalued as a technology. The briefing was planned to help change that perception, and it featured two ASTM members. Charles Cottrell, vice president, technical services, North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, is a member of Committees C16 on Thermal Insulation, E06 on Performance of Buildings and E60 on Sustainability. Richard Duncan, technical director, Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance, works on Committees C16, E06, D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing, and E21 on Space Simulation and Applications of Space Technology.

The briefing was held in conjunction with the U.S. House High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition, which is co-chaired by U.S. Representatives Russ Carnahan, D-Mo., and Judy Biggert, R-Ill.

Chinese delegation visits ASTMA delegation from the Sports Equipment Administrative Center of the China General Administration of Sport visited ASTM International headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa., on May 18. During the visit, ASTM staff discussed the standards developing process, ASTM’s long history with China and ASTM International Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities. The delegation also attended F08 meetings during the May committee week in St. Louis, Mo. Delegation members and ASTM staff, shown from left to right: Hou Li Bo, Sarah Naouri, James Olshefsky, Li Hang and Yong Zhongjun.

Paula Olivares of INN meets with ASTMOn April 28, Paula Olivares from the Instituto Nacional de Normalización in Santiago, Chile, and ASTM International staff met at ASTM’s Washington, D.C., office. ASTM’s standardization process and the various electronic tools offered to its members were discussed in depth. From left to right: Sarah Naouri, ASTM; Paula Olivares, INN; and Teresa Cendrowska, ASTM.

ASTM International President Visits China

ASTM's president meets with Chinese officials

James Thomas, president, ASTM International, meets with standards officials during his trip to China. Shown from left to right: Ma Lincong, secretary general, CAS; Shi Baoquan, vice administrator, SAC; James Thomas; and Wang Zhongmin, president, CNIS.

Visit from James Thomas Preceded by Joint ASTM/CNIS Workshop

On April 17–23, ASTM International President James Thomas visited China to meet with officials, technical experts, academics and ASTM members regarding standards development and application, certification and cooperation. The visit enhanced the existing cooperation between ASTM and its partners and provided the chance to explore new opportunities.

While in Beijing, Thomas had discussions with representatives of the following organizations.

  • China National Institute of Standardization: A quasi-government standardization research institute, CNIS is one of the Chinese commercial partners of ASTM standards. As a senior consultancy expert, Thomas gave a lecture for colleagues in CNIS, presenting the U.S. standardization system, the ASTM International operation model, features and categories of international standards, the benefit to industries of involvement in standards development and in particular the partnership of the government and private sectors in standards development in the United States.
  • China Association for Standardization: CAS is a quasi-government standardization service and partner of ASTM’s in the development and distribution of ASTM Standardization News in Chinese. Thomas and Ma Lincong, secretary general of CAS, discussed potential opportunities in standards development and certification programs.
  • Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China (MEP): Thomas paid a visit to Gao Jixi, deputy director general, Department of Science, Technology and Standards of MEP, and other officials. Standards experts from the All China Environment Federation were also involved in the meeting. Their discussion focused on the development, application and citation of environmental standards, test methods and regulations. The meeting laid a good foundation for the two groups to collaborate in the future on environmental standardization.

In addition to the above-mentioned bilateral communications, Thomas hosted a reception and dinner for his old and new colleagues in China, including standards officials and experts represented by Shi Baoquan, vice administrator, Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China (SAC), and technical officials and experts represented by Lu Yansun, the former vice minister of the Machinery Industry.

ASTM members from the fields of machinery, environment, petroleum, building materials, sports, textiles and consumer products were among the guests at the event, reflecting the broad range of applicability and interest in ASTM International standards in China and providing another indication of the cooperation between ASTM and Chinese standards activities in various sectors.

ASTM International and the China National Institute of Standardization Hold Metal Standards Workshop

On April 16, ASTM International and the China National Institute of Standardization jointly held a workshop on ASTM Metals Standards and Application in Beijing, China. More than 50 Chinese experts from the metal sector attended the event.

Focusing on ASTM nonferrous metal standards and application, two ASTM Board members Paul Whitcraft, Rolled Alloys, and Carroll Davis, ALCOA, gave the presentations on ASTM standards for nonferrous metals, particularly nickel alloys and aluminum; Passport to Steel, a premier ASTM International publication that provides a database of steel standards from 11 standards development organizations; and how standards enable business to conduct quality control, perform engineering assessments and gain access to global markets.

Davis’ and Whitcraft’s presentations were followed by question and answer discussions covering standards for steel, nickel and aluminum; steel specifications and grading differences in the United States and China; standards applicability; ASTM’s proficiency testing programs, and other subjects.

Liu Fei, ASTM’s chief representative in China, also joined the CNIS staff panel discussing ASTM membership (process and benefits), voting balance, negative ballot handling, review requirements for standards, standards and market access, the cost of standards and copyright, and ASTM’s compliance with the international standards principles of World Trade Organization Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. Participants engaged in the discussions, and this approach made the program beneficial for all, particularly in regard to understanding the extensive utilization of ASTM standards in China.

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