Kansas State University received a $2.76 million grant from the U.S. Air Force to develop mission planning, operations and a disaster training center for its unmanned aerial systems program on its Salina, Kan., campus.
The follow-on grant, which runs through May 2013, brings the total awards for unmanned activity to $3.14 million from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The university’s Applied Aviation Research Center will conduct the work through its Unmanned Aerial Systems Program Office.
“This second phase of funding allows us to expand our program by establishing UAS operational capability,” said Kurt Barnhart, head of the department of aviation and the grant’s principal investigator. “The first phase focused on developing processes and procedures for UAS evaluation on behalf of the Kansas National Guard. This funding from the AFOSR provides personnel and equipment to continue the mission. Projects include developing autoflight capability, sensor integration for intelligence gathering, airport wildlife mitigation research, and, very interestingly, wireless power transmission research.”
Part of the grant will be used for unmanned aerial vehicle platforms including an Aerosonde 4.7, a Wolverine 3 helicopter, and multiple other platforms for training and search and rescue.