UC takes part in federal drone demonstration

Students in UC's UAV Master Lab develop new applications for unmanned aerial systems

The University of Cincinnati took part in a demonstration of unmanned aerial systems, demonstrating the untapped potential for drones for government and commercial applications.

The UAV Master Lab in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science demonstrated how autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles can be incorporated into air traffic control systems. UC developed the application with small business technology transfer grants in conjunction with the Parallax Advanced Research’s Ohio Federal Research Network.

The network helps Ohio’s research universities meet the needs of federal institutions. This coordination is designed to boost Ohio’s economy through new innovations.

The project demonstrates UC's commitment to research as described in its strategic direction called Next Lives Here.

Students collaborate at a table in front of SkyVision RV.

UC students in the College of Engineering and Applied Science demonstrate new technology developed in UC's Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. Photo/UC

The network hosted a drone demonstration at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport in Clark County, Ohio, using advanced unmanned aerial systems and SkyVision, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) ground-based detection and avoidance system. This system is designed to ensure drones can safely operate at night, over populations or beyond the line of sight of operators. 

UC and other participating groups demonstrated the ability to integrate their technology with SkyVision.

Bryan Brown, senior research associate in UC’s Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, said UC demonstrated a new system it created to translate different commercial autopilots for use by Ohio’s SkyVision.

In a partnership with Sinclair Community College, UC also demonstrated a new unmanned air traffic management system to incorporate drones into airspace shared by other aircraft. One safeguard is the low operating ceiling for drones to avoid other air traffic, Brown said.

“This system is the next step beyond visual line-of-sight operations,” Brown said. “This allows us to integrate UAVs safely into the national airspace.”

UC thanked its partners, Sinclair Community College, Demeter UAV and Simlat.

Featured image at top: A UC drone. Photo/UC

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