DoD

May 24, 2013

Mississippi submits proposal for drone test site

Jeff Amy
Associated Press

Mississippi is bidding for one of six sites nationwide to test unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones.

The state submitted its proposal to the Federal Aviation Administration May 6, according to a Mississippi Development Authority.

State officials say the FAA should choose Mississippi because it has three manufacturers of unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as a flight laboratory at Mississippi State University. Congress has directed the FAA to use test sites to determine how to integrate current air traffic with unmanned vehicles. Today, such drones can only be flown with special permission, and can’t be used for commercial purposes.

“There’s a lot of potential out there for commercial use of unmanned aerial systems,” said Manning McPhillips, the chief administrative officer of the MDA. “This is a huge growth area in the aerospace industry.”

FAA spokesman Les Dorr said 50 sites in 37 states had indicated they would submit proposals. The FAA won’t finance the test, Dorr said, meaning bidders have to find some way to pay. McPhillips said Mississippi can use most of its existing assets at no cost, including airspace at Camp Shelby, Stennis Space Center and Gulf of Mexico test ranges controlled by the Air National Guard Combat Readiness Training Center in Gulfport.

“The beauty of this is there is no upfront cost to the state,” McPhillips said.

Mississippi State University would collect data from tests and conduct research, said David Shaw, the university’s vice president for research and development. He said research projects could include finding ways to improve communication between ground controllers and aircraft, encrypting control signals to prevent outsiders from hijacking a drone, and studies of how to improve the airworthiness of drones.

MDA officials said Camp Shelby’s more than 10 years of experience in safely operating drones is a big plus for Mississippi’s plan. They also cite the airspace over the Gulf of Mexico and MSU’s Raspet Flight Research Laboratory.

The idea is that the state would lay out the welcome mat for researchers who need time and space to fly their craft. Right now, air time in the United States is severely limited, said MDA’s Christine Pate.

“The fact that you can’t test is stymieing this industry that’s getting ready to explode,” she said.

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimates that the unmanned aircraft industry would create more than 70,000 jobs in the first three years after the FAA allows normal commercial operations.

Today, Mississippi has about 250 jobs in the sector, including Northrop Grumman’s assembly facility in Moss Point, as well as Stark Aerospace and Aurora Flight Sciences at Golden Triangle Regional Airport near Columbus. Another 250 jobs are promised in the next two years, McPhillips said. But officials hope testing would allow them to multiply that figure.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD

Big changes coming to pro-Gear shipment allowances

The Defense Travel Management Office has approved changes to the Joint Federal Travel Regulations, Volume 1 and Joint Travel Regulations Volume 2 that significantly change the shipment of professional books, papers and equipment allowance as part of household goods shipments. PBP&E is also referred to as Pro or Pro Gear. The following changes apply to...
 
 
DoD

‘Thor’ brings heat in Exchange, Marvel’s latest military-only free comic book

Arriving now after the release of “Thor: The Dark World,” the Asgardian Thunder God will star in the new, military-exclusive, free comic book from Marvel Custom Solutions and the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. The 32-page comic features Thor defending New York City from the fearsome Frost Giant, Ymir, in a new adventure by...
 
 
DoD

Commissary, place for holiday savings

FORT LEE, Va. — The holidays are right around the corner, and special in-store promotions make the commissary the place to go to save on holiday groceries, according to an official at the Defense Commissary Agency. “We’ve got some great promotions lined up for the holiday season,” said Randy Chandler, DeCA sales director. “Customers will...
 

 
DoD

Key land, sea-based electro-optical systems valued at $13.5 billion projected in next 10 years

An estimated $13.5 billion will be spent through 2022 on the research, development, and production of the representative programs covered in Forecast International’s newly updated analysis, “The Market for Land and Sea-Based Electro-Optical Systems.” Of the major EO systems covered in the report, a total of 296,036 units will be produced over the next 10...
 
 
DoD
Navy photograph

New method of testing parachutes developed

Navy photograph Four rocket motors are angled up 30 degrees to fine-tune the amount of forward thrust needed for Parachute Design Verification sleds used during a recent test at the Supersonic Naval Ordnance Research Track at t...
 
 
DoD
Northrop Grumman photograph

Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System completes carrier tests

Northrop Grumman photograph For the first time, both Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrators participated in tests with a single aircraft carrier. While one remained onboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), the seco...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin