Our friends at NIAS shared big news regarding the state of Nevada's growth and leadership in the unmanned aerial systems industry.
In a special bulletin, the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems shared the following:
At the end of 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration designated seven unmanned autonomous systems (UAS, a.k.a. drones) test sites across the country. During the past five years, these UAS test facilities (stretching from New York and Virginia in the East all the way to Alaska) have been quietly going about their work preparing for the lift off of what is conservatively expected to become a $100-billion industry by the end of this decade. In recent months the FAA began expanding its horizons for the emerging drone industry—literally, by permitting the use of drones that will be controlled by operators who can no longer see them with their eyes (as in “over the horizon”). FAA also has expanded the test program to include the integration of drones into the airspace of a select group of urban centers. More than five years of government sanctioned testing on UAS has illuminated the outlines of the emerging U.S. drone industry, which means it’s time for our first annual Drone Leaders (Unmanned Aerial Systems) state rankings category.
Nevada, No. 2 in our new category, has been an FAA test site for UAV since the end of 2013 (Nevada was the only test site in the program to encompass an entire state). NV is aiming for the top: earlier this year, Gov. Sandoval applied for the FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP), which aims to enable the deployment of drones in populated areas.
In March, the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS), manager of Nevada’s UAS Test Sites, and its NASA Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) partners flew multiple drones over a week-long testing period at the Nevada UAS Test Site at the Reno-Stead Airport. The testing focused on airspace management technologies that will enable the safe integration of UAS into Nevada’s airspace.
NASA provided a Flight Information Management System (FIMS) research platform that will serve as a future prototype system for the FAA to use to coordinate with Unmanned Service Suppliers operating throughout the nation. Research areas of emphasis during the testing included UAS ground control interfacing to locally manage operations, communication, navigation, surveillance, human factors, data exchange, network solutions and BVLOS architecture.
During the drone test week in NV, a team from the Reno Fire Department simulated an incident with a victim experiencing severe blood loss and who needed an immediate transfusion. A multi-rotor UAS from Drone America was equipped with a container which held an actual packet of blood to be transported via drone.
“Nevada’s state-led drone initiatives, in partnership with higher education and private-sector businesses, are an innovative force in this emerging industry,” Gov. Sandoval said.
“Nevada, through the NIAS, played a significant role in the pioneering use of drones and is well positioned, thanks to several international cooperative agreements, to continue the integration of this technology into our airspace, economy and daily lives,” he added. “Based on recent tests and developments, this growth is already well underway.”
Click here for a full report of the rankings.