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ASSURE Core Member Embry-Riddle, Partner Universities Receive FAA Research Awards to Study UAS

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) received the first group of FAA grantawards since the Center of Excellence was established in May 2015.

ASSURE is composed of 21 of the world’s leading research universities and more than 100 leading industry/government partners. ASSURE’s mission is to give FAA the research it needs to quickly, safely and efficiently integrate unmanned aircraft systems into the National Airspace System with minimal changes to the current system.

These research awards kick-off FAA funded research in what is anticipated to be an excellent long-term partnership between the FAA and ASSURE,” said Dr. Richard Stansbury, Embry-Riddle principal investigator and air traffic integration technical lead for ASSURE. “All three of our campuses — Daytona Beach, Prescott and Worldwide — will be conducting vital research within the framework of the Alliance to help create rules that will ensure the safe integration of UAS into the National Airspace System.”

ASSURE’s goal is to help the unmanned aircraft systems market grow into its multibillion-dollar market potential by conducting research that quickly, safely and efficiently integrates these unmanned systems alongside manned aircraft around the world. Embry-Riddle is one of 21 ASSURE member schools (15 core and six affiliate), all with broad and deep skill sets in UAS and their applications. ASSURE is supported by more than 100 industry partners worldwide.

Embry-Riddle will support three of the seven tasks awarded to ASSURE core institutions:

  • Embry-Riddle, North Carolina State University (project lead), the University of North Dakota, Mississippi State University, Ohio State University and Oregon State University will study the critical role that surveillance technology plays in the ability of UAS to detect and avoid other aircraft. These ASSURE schools will also examine the adequacy of existing airborne surveillance equipment as applied to UAS operations. Dr. Mohammad Moallemi of the Next-Generation Embry-Riddle Advanced Research Lab will provide modeling and simulation capabilities in support of this study.
  • Embry-Riddle, in cooperation with Kansas State University-Salinas (project lead) and Montana State University will address UAS maintenance. Dr. John Robbins, Embry-Riddle principal investigator for this task, states that the project will provide “an in-depth analysis of maintenance operations and considerations that differ from manned aircraft.”
  • In partnership with the University of Alabama-Huntsville (project lead), Mississippi State University and the University of Kansas, Embry-Riddle will study the risks associated with UAS ground collision (i.e. risk to people and property). Principal investigator Dr. Feng Zhu and this team will study the level of risk to people on the ground in the event of a UAS failure across a variety of scenarios using advanced simulation tools.

The ASSURE alliance features expertise across a broad spectrum of research areas, including air traffic control interoperability, UAS airport ground operations, control and communications, detect and avoid, human factors, UAS noise reduction, UAS wake signatures, unmanned aircraft pilot training and certification, low-altitude operations safety, spectrum management and UAS traffic management.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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