Clear non-compliances found in remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS)

Published 11.01.2016

The joint European radio equipment market surveillance campaign in 2015 focused on remotely piloted aircraft systems. The devices examined by FICORA had clear non-compliances, causing a risk of interference to other users of radio equipment. FICORA prohibited the sales and import of the non-compliant models.

Radio controlled copters and other small aircraft systems are used as toys, but also for professional purposes, for example for aerial video filming. Remote controls and flying parts of such equipment are typically sold separately and users may order some models assembled to their liking.

These devices are designed to operate on unlicensed frequency bands which are in parallel use by many other users, too. Compliance with the essential requirements of these devices is crucial to prevent them from generating harmful interferences to other users of radio frequencies. Some foreign online stores may sell models with excessive radiated power, but importing, reselling and using such devices is prohibited in Finland.

EU campaign for determining the compliance level of devices

FICORA participated in the EU campaign, during which roughly 80 remotely piloted aircraft systems were tested. The devices tested during the campaign operated mainly in the popular 2.4 GHz frequency band. Only about half of the examined devices fulfilled the technical requirements set for them. The non-compliances detected in the tests were mainly related to excessively high radiated power or spurious emissions. Radio equipment with excessive radiated power or a device transmitting on a wrong frequency band may interfere with other radio equipment or their use. Non-compliances were also found in the documents and in markings of the radio equipment.

The four models that FICORA selected for the campaign were radio controlled copters and multicopters. Two of the devices had a video transmission feature. Technical non-compliances were found in the tested devices and FICORA issued decisions banning sales and import of the non-compliant models.

The campaign was carried out by R&TTE Adco which is a cooperation group of market surveillance authorities for radio equipment and founded by the European Commission.

CE marking indicates compliance

A manufacturer of radio equipment must draw up a Declaration of Conformity for the equipment. Importers and distributors have an obligation to ensure that buyers and users receive the manufacturer's Declaration of Conformity with the product. Furthermore, importers and distributors must ensure that a CE marking is attached to the equipment. Therefore, when buying radio equipment it is recommended to check that the device has a CE marking and a Declaration of Conformity. It is in the best interest of all users that radio equipment complies with the requirements.

FICORA is responsible for the surveillance of market for radio equipment in Finland. FICORA carries out annual surveillance campaigns targeted at selected equipment groups. If clear non-compliances are found, FICORA may prohibit the equipment from being sold and imported.

Campaign report: 7th MSC under R&TTE on remotely piloted aircraft systems

Decisions on the non-compliance of radio controlled aircrafts

Further information

Milla Kuokkanen, Radio Inspection Specialist, tel. +358 295 390 354

Ritva Suurnäkki, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 390 645

FICORA's email addresses are of the format

Key words: Spectrum , Radio equipment , Supervision , Decisions , News

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