Oregon State University (OSU) has formed a new group to organize and expand its work and collaboration with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), marine and terrestrial technologies, and sensing and imaging systems.
The Autonomous Systems Research Group will help facilitate work on campus and also conduct public outreach and collaborative work with private industry and government agencies.
Goals of the research group include the following:
- Support Oregon’s designation as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved test site to study the academic and commercial use of UAVs in national air space;
- Share knowledge and collaborate with a large group of Pacific Northwest industries and government bodies;
- Facilitate safe flight operations and respond to required legal and liability issues;
- Help obtain the Certificates of Authorization required by the FAA for university flight operations; and
- Develop or certify an airborne operations group to simplify safe airborne access.
“Advanced aerial, terrestrial and marine systems are all being developed with highly sophisticated technologies for a wide variety of uses,” says Ronald Adams, interim vice president for research at OSU.
According to the university, those uses can include assuring safe and secure sources of food through precision agriculture; tracking and responding to changes in ocean and coastal systems; understanding the impacts of climate change and natural disasters; applications in natural resources and forest management; and deployment of advanced manufacturing technologies in industry.
“Membership in this research group will be open to all researchers interested in advancing and applying these technologies,” Adams continues. “We hope it will help us build new connections while we pursue learning, research and problem-solving opportunities provided by these tools.”
A five-member steering committee has been named to represent the primary colleges and entities at OSU that will be involved in this initiative.
Communications programs and quarterly campus meetings will be conducted to help facilitate all these goals, officials say.