Wednesday, August 1, 2012
FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – With the use of unmanned aerial vehicles expected to climb, Okaloosa County economic development leaders hope to develop an indoor UAV test site. The Economic Development Council is working to develop the 45,000-square-foot Autonomous Vehicle Center that will be used to test small unmanned air and ground vehicles. The $4.5 million Autonomous Vehicle Center will be built on the University of Florida's Research and Engineering Education Facility near Eglin Air Force Base. The vision is to have a diverse group use it, from high school students to private companies. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 07/31/12) The Gulf Coast region is heavily involved in UAVS. Fire Scout and Global Hawk UAVs are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.; the military trains with UAVs at Stennis Space Center and Camp Shelby, Miss; the Coast Guard has developed a UAV training course in Mobile, Ala.; Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is involved in navigation systems for micro unmanned systems.