The FAA collaborates internally and maintains extensive partnerships across government, industry, and academia to develop integrated research plans that support the development of regulations, policies, procedures, guidance, and standards for drone operations. Research activities such as flight tests, modeling and simulation, technology evaluations, risk assessments, and data gathering and analysis provide the FAA with critical information in areas such as Detect and Avoid, UAS Communications, Human Factors, System Safety, and Certification, all of which enable the Agency to make informed decisions on safe drone integration. Read more about this work and the critical partnerships that advance drone research and development activities below.
Center of Excellence (COE)
The FAA UAS Center of Excellence – the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) – is comprised of 15 of the world's leading research institutions, led by Mississippi State University, along with 8 affiliate universities. It focuses on research, education, and training in areas critical to safe and successful integration of drones into the nation's airspace.
Read more in this COE Assure Overview (PDF).
UAS Traffic Management (UTM)
A collaborative research concept between NASA, the FAA, and industry to address high volume small drone operations in low-altitude airspace.
UAS Information Papers
One-page status reports on research conducted or being conducted regarding the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones into the National Airspace System (NAS).
UAS Test Sites
UAS Test Sites support drone integration by providing an avenue for the drone industry and stakeholder community to conduct more advanced drone research and operational concept validation.