Tuesday, April 8, 2014

FAA eyes another UAV center

The Southeast didn'get one of the six FAA test sites that will help integrate unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace, but now the Federal Aviation Administration wants to establish a center for excellence within the next year. FAA, which issued a presolicitation notice March 31, is looking for government, industry and academic partners for the COE. Areas of interest include air traffic control interoperability, airport ground operations, pilot training and certification, human factors and privacy practices. The FAA intends to release a draft request for proposal and publicly discuss program requirements in May. The Gulf Coast in a major player in robotics and unmanned systems. UAVs are used at several military bases in the region, and Fire Scout and variants of the Global Hawk unmanned aerial system are built in Moss Point, Miss. The Naval Oceanographic Office at Stennis Space Center, Miss., operates a fleet of unmanned underwater vehicles, and the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Panama City, Fla., does R&D with unmanned maritime systems. In addition, the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Pensacola, Fla., is a recognized leader in human-machine interaction. (Source: GCAC, 04/08/14, FBO, 03/31/14)