Last two UAS test sites come online

The final two test sites for unmanned aerial systems are online, according to theFederal Aviation Administration.

FAA announced it has granted Virginia Tech certificates of authorization for a number of small UAS. Among them are the Smart Road Flyer, a low-cost UAS being developed to study transportation, as well as eSPAARO, Aeryon Sky Ranger, MANTRA2, Sig Rascal, and two AVID EDF-8 micro UASs.

This just days after it announced a test site in New York came online. Last week, Griffiss International Airport in Rome, N.Y. came online with a COA to use the PrecisionHawk Lancaster Platform UAS. It is studying ways UAS can monitor crops with sensors, including visual, thermal and multi spectral equipment.

The FAA tightly regulates the use of unmanned systems using the COAs, but with these permissions, testing can begin at each site.

Virginia Tech will conduct testing in Virginia, New Jersey, and Maryland, and study the use of UAS as agriculture equipment, developing operational procedures for agriculture surveys and more.

With the announcements, all six of the test sites around the country the FAA selected late last year as laboratories for UAS development are ready to test.

“We have undertaken the challenge of safely integrating a new and exciting technology into the busiest, most complex airspace in the world,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The six test sites are going to play a key role in helping us meet that challenge.

Dayton had sought to be one of the test sites, but was passed over. Local officials have continued with UAS efforts, though, with the upcoming Ohio UAS Conference and several other initiatives aimed at drawing in research dollars and companies interested in developing drones.

bizjournals.com has the original article. Check it out here.