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TAMUCC, NASA partner for urban drone study

Posted at 5:42 PM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-19 18:59:09-04


Texas A&M University Corpus Christi has been selected by NASA as one of two sites to test drones.

NASA officials have partnered with the school to test the operation of drones around buildings and in urban areas, tests that NASA says have never been done before.

Acting Executive Director of TAMUCC’s Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence and Innovation, Mike Sanders  says this is a tremendous accomplishment for his team.

“I can’t begin to tell you how excited we are to have NASA today,” Sanders said. “As part of the Island University, we’re here to help the students learn and professors do their research, so this is really the practical application of both research and student involvement.”

NASA officials say they hope the study will help give them a better idea of what it will be like for companies, like Amazon, who want to fly drones for commercial use.

“What we’re trying to do is do is test how this traffic management system will be able to safely enable everybody to do what they want to do, but without having them run into each other, manned aircraft or buildings,”  said project manager Ronald Johnson.

Testing will begin this summer, using drones to fly around the downtown area, along Shoreline Boulevard and near Cole Park.

Johnson says the community will be invited to certain testing sites and be able to provide input.

“If something is too noisy can we design routes that are farther away,” Johnson said. “Public engagement is going to be very important.”