Texas A&M University has approved the establishment of a new facility for research and testing of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center (LSUASC), a joint collaboration of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), will provide research, testing and training to support the integration of UAS into civil airspace.
The center will be headquartered in Corpus Christi, and represents the university's attempt to compete to become one of the six federal UAS testing sites.
“This approval by the Board of Regents strengthens the position of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in becoming one of six federal unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test sites,” said Flavius Killebrew, president of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
According to Luis Cifuentes, vice president of research and outreach at Texas A&M, civil applications that could be studied to support Texas' unique geographic location include homeland security, oil spill surveillance and marine monitoring. The university has a UAS program and airspace authorized by the FAA to perform UAS operations.
“We still have airspace that everyone else wants, and we will partner with anybody who wants to test in it,” said Cifuentes.