Six projects have been selected by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to conduct new research into drones, otherwise known as unmanned aircraft systems.
The University of Alaska will be testing drones in a range of different climate and weather conditions, supported by sites in Hawaii and Oregon, to help draw up new standards and categories for these machines. Virginia Tech will look at “failure mode testing”, while Texas A&M develops new safety requirements for drones and operations.
The state of Navada has a broader remit, including standards for the drones themselves, pilots and the relevant certification that would be needed to fly unmanned aircraft in the wild. The state will also be looking at air traffic control and the restrictions that should be placed on drones in public airspace.
Griffiss International Airport in New York will be focusing on “sense and avoid” features to help avoid collisions and accidents, while the North Dakota Department of Commerce looks at “high reliability link technology” that can be used in conjunction with drone aircraft.
The FAA says these test sites can be operational until at least February 13, 2017 under current legislation.
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