Nevada Launches Drone Center of Excellence for Public Safety

The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) has launched the Nevada Drone Center of Excellence for Public Safety (NDCOE), located in Las Vegas.

With facilities donated by global technology company Switch, the NDCOE aims to provide safety incursion research data, drone technology best practices, educational materials and public workshops to promote and protect the public’s safety and privacy in an “open and ethical manner,” says NIAS.

“Switch is pleased to provide the technology infrastructure backbone to advance the safety and privacy of drone development through the Nevada Drone Center of Excellence for Public Safety,” says Adam Kramer, Switch’s executive vice president of strategy. “NDCOE aligns with Switch’s vision for the advancement of technology and economic development that benefits all Nevadans in a positive way.”

The center seeks to protect against unmanned aircraft system (UAS) users who pose a public safety hazard due to inexperience and/or malicious intent – e.g., operations that hit people or fly near airports, military bases or other critical infrastructure. NDCOE also seeks to advance drone surveillance, detect and avoid; wildland firefighting, gas-leak detection; and medical deliveries.

“In addition to fostering major advances in UAS technology with testing partners like the FAA, NASA and Switch, Nevada is also home to the most registered drone users in the nation in Las Vegas,” says Paul Anderson, executive director of the Nevada governor’s Office of Economic Development. “This dynamic makes such a program as the Nevada Drone Center of Excellence for Public Safety a natural step as drones increasingly become a bigger part of our daily lives.”

“We are taking an aggressive approach toward solving the complex UAS industry challenge of mitigating drone incursions into the National Airspace System – one of the toughest FAA challenges today,” notes Chris Walach, senior director of NIAS and the FAA-designated UAS test site in Nevada.


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