Oregon State establishes UAS research group

By Emily Aasand | December 09, 2014

Oregon State University has formed an Autonomous Systems Research Group to organize and expand its work and collaboration with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The research group will help facilitate work on campus but also conduct public outreach and collaborative work with private industry and government agencies, the university said.

“Advanced aerial, terrestrial and marine systems are all being developed with highly sophisticated technologies for a wide variety of uses,” said Ronald Adams, interim vice president for research at OSU. “Membership in this research group will be open to all researchers interested in advancing and applying these technologies. 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 committee has been named to represent the primary colleges and entities at OSU and will hold quarterly campus meetings, the university said.

The committee will work toward carrying out the goals and objectives of the research group. Those goals include: to support Oregon’s designation as an FAA-approved test site to study the academic and commercial use of UAVs in the national airspace; to share knowledge and collaborate with a large group of Pacific Northwest industries and government bodies; to facilitate safe flight operations and respond to required legal and liability issues; to help obtain the certificates of authorization required by the Federal Aviation Administration for university flight operations; and to develop or certify an airborne operations group to simplify safe airborne access.

Oregon is part of the Pan-Pacific Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site. Oregon has three test ranges, one each near Tillamook, Warm Springs and Pendleton, all in the northern reaches of the state. The Pan-Pacific UAS Test Site also includes Hawaii and Alaska, with the site being managed by the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration, a division of the UAF-GI.