The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today released its final solicitation for a new FAA Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (COE). The new COE will be tasked with identifying current and future issues critical to safe integration of UAS into the nation’s airspace.
The COE will study several technical issues critical to successful UAS integration, including detect-and-avoid technology, control and communications, low-altitude operations safety, compatibility with air traffic control operations and training and certification of UAS pilots and other crewmembers.
University teams may include industry and other affiliates expected to support, conduct joint research efforts, and serve on the COE team. The deadline for teams to submit proposals is September 15.
The FAA intends to support this COE over the next 10 years with minimum funding of $500,000 per year. The universities will be required to match federal grants, dollar for dollar, from nonfederal sources.
Exactly how the new COE will interact with six UAS test sites that the FAA selected last December will be determined once the COE team is in place and develops its detailed research plans.
Congress mandated that the FAA establish the COE under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014. Like university think tank partnerships, the agency’s Centers of Excellence bring the best minds in the nation together to conduct research, to educate and to train, and work with the FAA toward solutions for aviation-related challenges.
You can view the final solicitation document at: http://www.faa.gov/go/coe