NASA, University Sign Agreement to Advance UAS Technology


Today, representatives from NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence and Innovation (LSUASC) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (Island University), and Texas A&M University System will sign a new space act agreement to further autonomous unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technology.

The agreement and collaboration were made possible thanks to the A&M System chancellor’s research initiative and will focus on developing new UAS software.

Hunter Morgan and Aaron Hitchcock, both LSUASC software engineers and Island University alumni, will work closely with NASA to develop software that will keep UAS from colliding with the ground, keep them from colliding with aircraft, help with emergency landings, sense weather and help them stay out of “no fly” zones – all without the aid of a pilot.

According to the university, the partnership will lead to the creation of what Dr. Jon Mogford, A&M System vice chancellor for research, calls “the next generation of truly autonomous UAS technology.”

Notably, this agreement marks the third research project LSUASC has partnered with NASA on, including receiving access to NASA’s secure information network in 2016 and participation in NASA’s UAS Traffic Management research platform.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi maintains its status as one of only seven FAA-designated test sites in the nation selected to facilitate testing and research on UAS.

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