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Island University selected as drone traffic test site

Posted at 3:06 PM, Feb 18, 2019

Texas A&M University Corpus Christi has been selected by NASA as one of two sites nation-wide for a drone traffic management study.

NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management project selected the Lone Starr UAS Center of Excellence and Innovation at TAMUCC to conduct tests focusing on drone communication, collision avoidance, safe landing, services that support UAS operations, and safety in an urban landscape.


“This series of tests is a critical step in enabling the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems within an urban environment,” said Mike Sanders, Acting Executive Director of the Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation.  “We look forward to working with NASA’s Ames Research Center, the City of Corpus Christi and its first responders, the Corpus Christi International Airport, the Port of Corpus Christi, as well as the many partners across Texas and the United States.”

Daniel Mendez moves the AirRobot as they replace the battery prior to take off during the UTM demo. photo: TAMUCC


NASA’s UTM project works closely with the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct field demonstrations of small unmanned aircraft systems to fully and safely access low-altitude airspace in support of civil and business opportunities.

Lone Star UAS’ HDR 3 SOLO prior to lift off, during the UTM demo. photo: TAMUCC


The UTM project is under the Airspace Operations and Safety Program within the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, with researchers at NASA’s Ames, Glenn, and Langley research centers.

Luis Hernandez replaces the battery on the AirRobot drone during the Lone Star UAS UTM demo. photo: TAMUCC


For more information about Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation at A&M University-Corpus Christi, please visit   or contact Communications Specialist III Michelle Villarreal Leschper at 361.826.4039.



For more information about NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management, visit