Daily Court Reporter - News Groundbreaking aviation technology set for testing in Ohio
Groundbreaking aviation technology set for testing in Ohio
KEITH ARNOLD, Daily Reporter Staff Writer
The Ohio Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center and U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory plans to begin testing groundbreaking aviation technology at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, according to an announcement by Gov. Mike DeWine.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed recently that new technology developed in collaboration between the laboratory and the state, called SkyVision, allows drones to safely, accurately and effectively detect and avoid other aircraft while in flight.
SkyVision acts as an air traffic control system for drones, officials said.
Validation of the technology prompted the FAA to grant the Air Force lab a certificate of authorization to test defense-related drone technology without reliance on a visual observer or chase aircraft.
"As our country steps more and more into the unmanned age of flight, this technology is on the forefront of the aviation frontier, making Ohio a critical national asset for the research and development of UAS technology," DeWine said in a prepared statement. "This also opens the door for commercial companies to work with Ohio, AFRL, and the FAA to test their own UAS-related technology using our SkyVision detection system."
DeWine said the program should result in revolutionizing the transportation industry, with Ohio leading the way in aerospace, defense and aviation innovation.
"This is an important development in the progression of unmanned aircraft," Lab Commander Major General William Cooley said. "This waiver provides the latitude to test beyond-line-of-sight keeping AFRL on the leading edge of world-class research, and accelerates the delivery of technology that makes a difference to the warfighter."
UAS test flights will take place at heights ranging from 1,000 feet above ground to 10,000 feet mean sea level. Air traffic control experts from the Ohio UAS Center will operate SkyVision during each flight. The SkyVision detection system is located within a mobile unit so that it can be flexibly placed in optimum positions for each flight.
Ohio's SkyVision detection system could potentially be used by the state to develop and test drone technology to assist citizens in the event of a natural disaster or to significantly enhance the capability of search and rescue teams to find missing persons in time-critical situations. Commercial companies, such as those looking to use drones to survey damaged infrastructure or hoping to launch drone commerce operations, will also now have incentive to move to Ohio to test their own UAS technology.
"By enabling our lower-altitude airspace for advanced modes of transportation, we'll be able to facilitate new opportunities around advanced autonomous aircraft research and development," said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. "This will bring investment to Ohio and solidifies Ohio's position as a world-recognized leader in aviation technology."
The state and the research lab invested a combined $5 million for the research and development of SkyVision.
Date Published: May 23, 2019