What is the Alaska UAS Interest Group?
The Alaska UAS Interest Group started in the mid-2000s as a coming together of Alaskans interested in UAS operations in Alaska. In the early years, the primary purpose of the group was to disseminate news of UAS operations in Alaska, or involving Alaskans in other locations, and provide a network of UAS resources for operations that involved Alaskans through a contact list. After 5 years, the annual gatherings grew to the point they needed more attention than could be provided by the original organizers, so the University of Alaska Fairbanks accepted the responsibility of managing the contact list and organizing the annual meetings.
Under UAF’s oversight, the group contact list has grown from 400 to almost 3,000. The group is now the primary organization for communicating UAS regulations, operations, technology, and research across the Alaska UAS community. The small get ‘together’ of the early days have evolved into the current, multi-day Alaska UAS Interest Group Meeting (AUASIG) that brings together UAS operators, regulators, technical experts, and others from across Alaska and the rest of the Nation to discuss UAS issues in Alaska.
The Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration – RDT&E (ACUASI), the University of Alaska’s Center of Excellence for UAS based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, organizes the annual AUASIG as a service to the State of Alaska. ACUASI personnel have been operating UAS in Alaska since 2001, were participants in the original AUASIG meetings, and lead the Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex (PPUTRC), one of the seven FAA UAS Test Sites. As a result, ACUASI is dedicated to bringing together the best speakers, technology, and information in this annual meeting to further the UAS industry in Alaska and our partner states in the PPUTRC. Recently Alaska UAS industry development and public education using UAS technology have become priorities of the AUASIG. These two goals support each other. We are requesting your participation in these efforts as you continue your very interesting projects across this great state.