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This article was published on December 30, 2013

    The FAA greenlights six drone test centers, including Virginia Tech and the University of Alaska

    The FAA greenlights six drone test centers, including Virginia Tech and the University of Alaska Image by: AFP/Getty Images
    Nick Summers
    Story by

    Nick Summers

    Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.

    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.

    FAA (Via The Verge)

    Image Credit: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images