After a rigorous competition, the FAA selected a Mississippi State University team as the FAA's Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (COE UAS). The COE will focus on research, education, and training in areas critical to safe and successful integration of UAS into the nation's airspace.

The team brings together 15 of the nation's leading UAS and aviation universities that have a proven commitment to UAS research and development and the necessary resources to provide the matching contribution to the government's investment. In addition to Mississippi State University, the other team members include:

  • Drexel University
  • Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Kansas State University
  • Kansas University
  • Montana State University
  • New Mexico State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Oregon State University
  • University of Alabama, Huntsville
  • University of Alaska, Fairbanks
  • University of North Dakota
  • Wichita State University

The COE research areas are expected to evolve over time, but initially will include: detect and avoid technology; low-altitude operations safety; control and communications; spectrum management; human factors; compatibility with air traffic control operations; and training and certification of UAS pilots and other crewmembers, in addition to other areas.

The FAA expects the COE will be able to begin research by September 2015 and be fully operational and engaged in a robust research agenda by January 2016. Congress appropriated $5 million for the five-year agreement with the COE, which will be matched one-for-one by the team members.

The FAA UAS Center of Excellence at Mississippi State University can be contacted via:

James O. Poss, Maj Gen (ret) US Air Force
Executive Director, ASSURE FAA UAS COE Team
Phone: (228) 688-6988

Read the full press release here.
Visit the FAA's Centers of Excellence website.

UAS Test Site/Center of Excellence Public Meetings

The FAA will support seven public meetings during August and September, 2015. These meetings will be hosted by the six unmanned aircraft system (UAS) Test Sites and UAS Center of Excellence (COE). The purpose of these meetings is to discuss innovation and opportunities at the Test Sites and COE. Details are available in the Federal Register Notice.