The University of Southampton says it has been selected as the sole U.K. partner to help operate the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) National Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (COE UAS).
The university is a member of the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) team, chosen by the FAA to run the center, which will help maximize the potential of commercial unmanned systems and address both government and commercial UAS challenges.
The ASSURE group, led by Mississippi State University, is a coalition of 20 universities from three countries and more than 100 government and industry partners.
The University of Southampton plans to be active in many areas that fit the FAA research goals. Research areas are expected to evolve over time but initially will include 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 says it has a number of strengths in the field of UAS, including the DECODE (Decision Environment for COmplex DEsign) project to design, build and fly UAS with fully autonomous control systems and on-board cameras; hosting the world’s only Master of Science course in UAS design; and designing and flying the world’s first 3D printed plane.