Ohio developing leadership in drones

DAYTON, Ohio — A study set to be completed early next year will lead to developing a unique national capability in Ohio for flying unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and will boost Ohio’s leadership in developing technologies to integrate unmanned systems.

The study will leverage and expand the state’s capabilities, particularly in improving the ability of unmanned systems to sense and avoid other aircraft in the same airspace.

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National model

The Ohio Airspace Strategic Integration Study (OASIS), which kicked off in February 2012, is intended to serve as a national model for the Air Force that coordinates federal, state, and local governments, aviation groups, academic institutions, private industry, and other stakeholders.

The study is funded through the State of Ohio Development Services Agency.
“Ohio has complex airspace needs because of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, headquarters of the Air Force Research Laboratory, which is involved in research and development of unmanned aircraft systems,” said Maurice McDonald, executive vice president for aerospace and defense of the Dayton Development Coalition, which is administering the study.

OASIS will also evaluate methods to promote business and industry growth in Ohio based on the development of available airspace to fly unmanned systems.

Bringing together user groups at the beginning of the process and consulting them along the way is intended to achieve a consensus on the final recommendations.

Unique Ohio partnership

“The State of Ohio brings unique research, development, training, education, and infrastructure resources, as well as operations and airfield management experience,” McDonald said.

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Last year, Ohio partnered with its neighboring state to create the Ohio/Indiana UAS Center and Test Complex to fly unmanned systems.

The OASIS study will help determine the ultimate capabilities of the center, including support of Air Force research and development flight test requirements.
The Center has applied to the FAA to become one of the six national sites to test the integration of unmanned systems in the national airspace system.

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