Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Future of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Testing in MA Seminar on April 8, 2014

The Future of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Testing in Massachusetts seminar brought together close to 100 attendees from industry and academia to state and government/military representatives. H. Carter Hunt, Vice President Defense Sector Initiatives at MassDevelopment, Joint Base Cape Cod, discussed the formation of NUAIR – the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance – made up of public organizations, private entities and academic institutions working together to establish FAA designated test sites for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in New York and Massachusetts.  The Massachusetts/New York team is one of 6 FAA test sites awarded 31 December 2013.  Still in its infancy – NUAIR is working with the other 5 sites to establish standards for operating and communicating.

The FAA has several standard requirements necessary prior to receiving a Certificate of Authorization in order to fly at the test range in and around the Joint Base Cape Cod.   These include a flight plan, risk management plan, safety plan, operating plan, license agreement, insurance coverage, etc.  For more information go to the Mass Development web site (The MassDevelopment presentation is posted on the robotics cluster page under past events)

Our diverse panel included:
  • Waseem Naqvi – NUAIR Board Member, AUVSI NE Vice President – Raytheon, Director Advanced Technology Programs
  • Frank Serna – NUAIR Board Member, AUVSI NE President, Co-Chair NDIA Systems Engineering Division and Principal Director, Strategic Initiatives at Draper
  • Jason Walker - Lead Roboticist, Director of Operations, CyPhy Works Inc.
  • Adam Norton – UMASS Lowell New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center Manager

Panelists gave their views on the future potential UAV applications from agriculture to structural inspection and from crowd sourcing to environmental monitoring and entertained questions from the audience for nearly an hour and a half.  There was no lack of questions from the audience! 

Thank you to everyone who came out today in the rain storm – and to our speaker and panelists – and to IBM for a great venue!

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