Test center will develop drones for commercial use, scientific research

two men carry a drone plane on their shoulders across a dry, barren field

Photo: Texas Tribune

The Federal Aviation Administration has selected Texas as one of six test center sites to develop drones, or Unmanned Air Systems (UAS), for commercial use by businesses, farmers and researchers.  The decision was based on a statewide proposal led by the Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center (LSUASC) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

The proposal, a collaboration between Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), along with Camber Corporation, designates 11 test ranges in the state, led by researchers at campuses in College Station and Corpus Christi.   The LSUASC focus will be on developing system safety requirements of UAS vehicles and operations with a goal of protocols and procedures for airworthiness testing, and conducting sponsored research.

This historic decision has huge financial implications for the state of Texas, with a statewide impact of around $8 billion over the next 10 years, $260 million of that in South Texas, creating roughly 1,200 jobs.

More at the Dwight Look College of Engineering and the Texas Tribune