There is also the problem of the the drone itself malfunctioning. What happens if its navigation systems go haywire? Or the command is misinterpreted? etc. Does the satellite intend to shoot it out of the sky, or vaporise it??
The brief note (and associated link) don't address the safety concerns that come to mind. What happens if the satellite goes dead? The drone will need considerable autonomy in such cases. Unlike a ground based vehicle which can stop in place, the drone must have a landing plan and avoid other objects in the airspace. And if the drone can manage without the satellite, then what role does the satellite play? Is it just relaying updates to the drone flight plan?
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.