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FAA Taps 5 Universities to Study Drone-Based Disaster Assistance

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The Federal Aviation Administration has selected five universities to examine drone-based approaches government organizations can apply when responding to manmade or natural disasters.

The research grants have a combined value of $2.7 million and represent the third round of awards made through the FAA-sponsored Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence, which aims to facilitate the integration of unmanned aircraft system operations into the national airspace, the agency said Thursday.

“Every second counts in an emergency, and this funding will allow drones to safely and more quickly deploy in moments when minutes matter,” said acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen.

The grantees and their awards are provided below:

  • University of Vermont: $1.2 million
  • University of Alabama Huntsville: $828,070
  • New Mexico State University: $400,000
  • North Carolina State University: $200,000
  • Kansas State University: $145,000

FAA noted the latest ASSURE funds bring the total awarded under the alliance during fiscal 2022 to $21 million.