Unmanned aircraft systems developed at CU-Boulder have flown a wide variety of science missions around the world, from monitoring seal populations in the Arctic, to intercepting storm cells associated with tornadoes in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska, to measuring holes in Antarctic sea ice associated with offshore winds.
Now, the university’s Research and Education Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV) is leading a coalition of state and industry leaders to vie for one of six unmanned aircraft test sites slated to be established by the FAA across the United States. The final site selections are expected to be announced in December.
RECUV professor Brian Argrow of aerospace engineering sciences says an FAA site in Colorado will facilitate further development, testing and deployment of unmanned aircraft systems because of the state’s diverse geography, its robust aerospace industry, and CU’s strong engineering undergraduate and graduate programs.
He also notes the long-standing track record of CU engineers working with the FAA to support the operation of unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace.