Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex
The Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex is one of six official FAA test sites in the United States. The PPUTRC spans seven climate zones, allowing UAS manufacturers and potential users to test their equipment in the Arctic, the tropics, and in arid environments. Managed by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the test site builds upon ongoing work of the Geophysical Institute’s Alaska Center for UAS Integration (ACUASI).
The States of Oregon and Hawaii are original partners with Alaska in the Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex (PPUTRC). Oregon’s team includes three fixed test ranges. The locations of these test ranges are as follows: Pendleton Airport; Tillamook uncontrolled public airport and managed by NearSpace, Inc.; Warm Springs Reservation, managed by VDOS, Inc. on behalf of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. The Oregon ranges offer a variety of terrains, weather conditions, and flight environments, expanding on Alaska’s characteristics. Oregon State University (OSU), a longtime partner of UAF on research activities, is also part of the Oregon test site team.
Operations in Hawaii are quickly developing, including a UAS test facility on Lanai, which offers large, open areas, which were previously part of the Dole Pineapple plantation. As with OSU, UAF has a long-standing academic partnership with University of Hawaii (UH) which is now being expanded to fold UH into the test site partnership specifically for conducting research operations and tests for UAS integration in Hawaii. Hawaii offers tropical conditions, access to warm over-ocean conditions, and the ability to conduct test flights when Alaska’s winter limits operations.