Bringing UAS to America's Skies



The following Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation news articles are primarily press releases from the Marketing & Communications department at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and LSUASC.

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December 30, 2013

Island University Designated by FAA as Unmanned Aircraft System Test Site

Texas has been named a test site for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), based on a statewide proposal led by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. “We are proud to be a part of this historic moment in aviation history,” said Dr. Flavius Killebrew, President and CEO of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. “Together with our partners, we will lead the way for the research and development of this new age in aviation technology.” The test sites will facilitate testing and research of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technologies to provide scientific data on the future integration of these aircraft safely with other air traffic. Congress mandated that the UAS be integrated into the national airspace by 2015. One of the main research goals is finding the safest methods for unmanned planes to sense other aircraft and take measures to avoid collisions. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has been doing UAS research for about two years, looking at ways to use UASs for mapping sea grass, detecting oil spills and hotspots in wild fires, monitoring hurricanes, and herd counting for ranchers. The University’s Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center (LSUASC) proposal was the only one from Texas being considered by the FAA, and had the backing of Texas Governor Rick Perry. "Texas has a long and distinguished history in the aerospace industry, and this test site is an important opportunity to create jobs and grow the industry in our state," Gov. Perry said. "This technology will not only protect our country, but has the potential to advance other industries as well, and this test site will play a role in ensuring it is used in a way that benefits our citizens while protecting their privacy and safety." Read more >>

December 19, 2013

Phase Two of the A&M-Corpus Christi UAS Command and Control Center Complete

When the FAA announces its designation of six federal unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test sites, the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi UAS Command and Control Center will be ready to track and control the aircraft from anywhere in the state. Phase two of the implementation of the center was completed this week by the LSUASC staff, including Camber Corporation and A&M-Corpus Christi personnel, with the installation of NASA’s World Wind Viewer, situational awareness command and control software, and a commercial autopilot software package. Read more >>

December 11, 2013

University Researchers Installing Multi-Spectral ‘Drone’ Camera

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi researchers and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) experts from American Aerospace partnered this week to install a multi-spectral, 3-camera system into the University unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and collaborated on how to operate the equipment most effectively. “This camera system can be used for mapping sea grass, detecting hotspots in wildfires, detecting oil spills in the ocean, and counting livestock,” said Dr. David Bridges, Director of the UAS Initiative at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Read more >>

November 20, 2013

University Choosing New Launch Site for Drone Proposal

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is reviewing several promising options in the Big Bend area for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) research. The Alpine city council voted down a proposal to allow the city's municipal airport to be used as a launch and recovery site for the UAS program operated by the University’s Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft System Center of Excellence and Innovation Center (LSUASC). "We are disappointed that we won't be able to include the Alpine airport in our statewide network,” said Dr. Luis Cifuentes, Vice President for Research, Development and Outreach at A&M-Corpus Christi. “But, we have been approached by several other facilities in the area willing to support this opportunity." Read more >>

November 15, 2013

Hispanic-Serving Institution Leads Way in State’s UAS Research Proposal

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, a federally recognized Hispanic-serving institution, has taken the lead position in a statewide effort to become a test site for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones. “The history of Hispanic achievement in America began more than 500 years ago when Juan Ponce de Leon stepped onto the shores of the new world, exploring Florida and Puerto Rico,” said Dr. Luis Cifuentes, Vice President of Research, Commercialization and Outreach. “Now we are taking flight into a new world that promises to be the future of aviation.” Read more >>

October 31, 2013

Regents Approve Center for Development, Research and Testing of Unmanned Aircraft in Corpus Christi

The Texas A&M System Board of Regents has approved the establishment of the Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence and Innovation (LSUASC) as a joint Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) center. The LSUASC will function in the general areas of research, development, testing and training to support safely integrating unmanned aircraft into the national airspace and would be headquartered in Corpus Christi. Read more >>

October 14, 2013

Texas Municipal League Backs University Bid for Designated FAA Drone Test Site

The Texas Municipal League (TML) has adopted a resolution supporting the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi application to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be named one of six federal unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) test sites. The vote was made Friday, Oct. 11, at the groups 2013 Annual Conference in Austin. “With the backing of Governor Rick Perry, we are the only site in Texas being considered,” said Dr. Luis Cifuentes, Vice President of Research, Commercialization and Outreach. “The resolution from the TML demonstrates the financial impact the FAA designation will have on every community in the state.” Read more >>

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