The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently granted two separate Certificates of Authorization (COAs) to the Ohio/Indiana Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center (OH/IN UASC) to conduct flight operations in support of precision agriculture research.
The UAS flights will take place at the Ohio State University's (OSU) Molly Caren Agriculture Center in London, Ohio.
Agriculture is the No. 1 industry in Ohio, the UAS Center says, and the UASC and OSU have teamed up to explore new technology and techniques to increase the industry’s growth.
OSU and the OH/IN UASC will use a 1.5-pound UAS as part of a research and development effort to assess crop health. “This data will be analyzed, and results will be used in support of research on cropping systems and assessment of environmental factors affecting crop growth,” says Scott Shearer, professor and chair of OSU’s department of food, agricultural and biological engineering.
“OSU’s Molly Caren Agriculture Center maintains 1,400 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat production agriculture. The fields are highly instrumented, making it an ideal location to fly and collect data through precision agriculture research,” adds Dick Honneywell, OH/IN UASC’s executive director.
The OH/IN UAS Center is a joint venture between the states of Ohio and Indiana. The overall mission of the UAS Center is to advance UAS commercialization and support flight operations for government and agencies.
It offers a mix of services and a variety of test ranges and capabilities to support research, development, testing and evaluation of UAS technologies for businesses, government and academia. These activities will enhance economic development and place Ohio in a leadership role as the FAA prepares to integrate UAS into national airspace, the center says.