Geophysical Institute and NASA pair up for drone mission

Excerpt from: Geophysical Institute and NASA pair up for drone mission on

On June 6, members of the Geophysical Institute's Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration, or ACUASI, along with members of NASA prepared for a mission to fly two unmanned aircraft on the UAF campus. One drone was built by NASA, while the other was built by faculty, staff, and students of ACUASI. Both drones flew simultaneously with unmanned aircraft at Poker Flats and other unmanned aircraft in 6 other states. The purpose of the exercise was to promote safety and establish protocols for commercial unmanned aircraft flying in manned aircraft airspace. Program Manager of the event, Michael Hatfield discusses the collaboration and how the university strives to increase awareness and education about unmanned aircraft vehicles.

"This effort is a collaboration between the FAA, NASA, all the six different test sites. Here within the university we utilize UAV's for our research and for public service missions. Here at ACUASI, we also have an educational department. I'm in the department of Electrical Engineering, and we have a UAV program down there, and we also have clubs and activities designed to get students involved with UAV's, and actually build some of the UAV's that we fly here," said Hatfield.