As affirmation of its global reputation for unmanned systems research and development, the University has been selected as the sole UK partner to help operate the new US National Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (COE UAS).
As the UK’s leading University for UAS research and education, Southampton will be active in many research areas initially including: detect and avoid technology; low-altitude operations safety; control and communications; spectrum management; human factors; compatibility with air traffic control operations; and training and certification of UAS pilots and other crew members.
The University’s involvement arose through its membership of the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) team, which was chosen by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to run the Centre.
The ASSURE group, led by Mississippi State University (MSU), is a coalition of the top 20 UAS universities from three countries and more than 100 government and industry partners, which will launch a new era of commercial unmanned aircraft research, development, and integration into US airspace.
Professor Jim Scanlan who is leading the Southampton team, says: “Our involvement in the ASSURE team reflects our global reputation for unmanned systems research and development. We have the capabilities and resources to help address the demands of this challenging technology and launch a new era of commercial unmanned aircraft research, development and integration.”
The aim of the COE is to maximise the potential of commercial unmanned systems and address both government and commercial UAS challenges. It will begin research by September 2015 and be fully operational by January 2016.