FAA Awards $4 Million In Drone Research Grants

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The FAA has awarded $4.4 million in grants for unmanned aerial system (UAS/drone) research, education and training to seven universities. According to the agency, the grant research will focus on electromagnetic compatibility, detect and avoid classifications and cybersecurity oversight. The universities receiving the grants include the University of North Dakota, University of Kansas, Drexel University, Ohio State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Mississippi State University and Oregon State University.

“This funding and our ongoing partnerships with these universities will allow the FAA to safely integrate the airspace that has a growing number of diverse aircraft users,” said FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen.

The grants are the second round to come from the FAA’s Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE). One of six Centers of Excellence established by the agency “to help advance technology and educate the next generation of aviation professionals,” ASSURE has awarded a total of fifteen grants valued at $18.3 million so far this year. The FAA noted that the UAS fleet currently encompasses more than 800,000 recreational and commercial drones and is expected to continue growing.

Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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