The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a notice of intent to establish a Center of Excellence (COE) for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
The agency plans to competitively select a COE within the next year and says the center will be a geographically disbursed consortium of the FAA, university partners and affiliates to conduct UAS research, education and training.
According to the FAA, the agency will select the COE team based on the following congressionally mandated criteria:
– The extent to which the needs of the state in which the applicant is located are representative of the needs of the region for improved air transportation services and facilities;
– The demonstrated research and extension resources available to the applicant for carrying out the intent of the legislation;
– The capability of the applicant to provide leadership in making national and regional contributions to the solution of both long-range and immediate air transportation problems;
– The extent to which the applicant has an established air transportation program;
– The demonstrated ability of the applicant to disseminate results of air transportation research and educational programs through a statewide or region-wide continuing education program; and
– The research projects that the applicant proposes to carry out.
Research areas of the COE will include air traffic control interoperability; airport ground operations; command and control; detect and avoid; human factors; system performance; privacy practices for UAS operations; system engineering; and UAS pilot training and certification.
The FAA adds that it will issue a draft solicitation, allow for a period of public comment, and discuss the COE and UAS technical requirements at a public meeting that will be conducted in the Washington, D.C., area in May.
More information is available here.