Consultation

Experts at the UAS Test Site help partners understand and adhere to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules as well as standard aviation safety and operations procedures. The team can provide guidance on a range of applications and vehicles—from the smallest quadcopters to the largest fixed wing aircraft. Lawmakers and other decision makers can also tap into UAS Test Site expertise to better understand the challenges and opportunities of airspace integration and craft policies that advance public safety, privacy, and innovation. 

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Airworthiness Evaluation

Modeled after requirements in manned aviation and military drone applications, airworthiness evaluations conducted by the UAS Test Site are among the most rigorous in the UAS industry. Test site engineers closely inspect the vehicle’s design, reviewing all operations manuals and often talking directly with a manufacturer’s pilots and engineers in the process. In addition to the hardware, the test site will also evaluate the human factors that influence safety, including pilot proficiency and operations procedures.

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System Design & Integration

Partners looking for customized vehicles capable of carrying specific sensors, cameras, communication devices, or other payloads can tap into our staff expertise and unique facilities to demonstrate feasibility. Our team can assess project needs and design tailor-made payload integration solutions. Integration capabilities include software design and engineering, mechanical interfaces, electrical interfaces, and command and control.  Test site experts can help design and test alterations to a vehicle's structure to accommodate partner-specific factors, such as unusually shaped payloads and prolonged flight times.

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Needs Assessment

With a combined 150 years of experience in aviation, engineering, and project management, the UAS Test Site team can help you determine the vehicle, payloads, payload integration methods, and procedures needed to successfully and safely execute a mission. Whether you’re an aviation expert looking for guidance on how best to carry a specific sensor or you’re simply interested in exploring the potential opportunities provided by UAS technology, this highly collaborative process results in a concrete operations strategy, recommended next steps, and often projected costs.

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Testing & Evaluation

With expertise in command control, propulsion, and flight operations, UAS Test Site experts can help partners develop and execute rigorous testing and evaluation plans. Typical plans include an examination of command and control procedures, payload integration, performance in field conditions, and effectiveness at completing a desired task. As part of the process, test site experts will also identify potential defects or failures and establish mitigation and response measures.

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Flight Operations & Services

With access to restricted military airspace and special Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorizations for research and test activities, the UAS Test Site enables businesses, public agencies, and researchers to conduct operations beyond those allowed under Part 107. Our FAA-licensed pilots, engineers, and project managers support operations of all types—from the smallest quadcopters to the largest fixed wing aircraft—and have the experience and qualifications needed for operations conducted beyond line of sight and at night as well as those involving multiple aircraft control.

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Public Outreach

A cornerstone of UAS Test Site operations is educating the public on engineering, technology, liability, safety, and privacy matters related to the integration of UAS into the national airspace. Our engineers, pilots, and project managers are available to host demonstrations, present at public or private events, partner with K-12, college, or informal educators, and more.

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