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TAMUCC project with NASA is a finalist for national aeronautics award

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Posted at 6:25 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 20:40:18-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A project being done by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation and NASA has been nominated to receive a prestigious award in aeronautics.

The annual award they are nominated for is the 2019 Robert J. Collier Trophy for excellence in aeronautics and astronautics in America.

We were flattered when NASA asked us to join them as part of their Collier Trophy submission,
said Mike Sanders, executive director of Lone Star.
Being selected as a finalist is a huge honor and points to the importance of TAMU-CC’s aeronautics research in UAS Traffic Management. Lone Star UASC is proud of our over five-year partnership with NASA and we are looking forward to our continued partnership with them in advanced aeronautics research.

The project nominated has to do with drone technology.

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Lone Star and NASA have been working on figuring out how Unmanned Aircraft Systems, also known as UAS or drones, can be safely integrated into the National Airspace system.

According to the Government Accountability Office, drone tech is something the government has kept on their radar.

More recently, the use of small UAS (those that weigh less than 55 pounds) has rapidly expanded to include a broad range of public and commercial operations—such as law enforcement activities, assisting in search and rescue operations, inspecting pipelines and infrastructure, photographing real estate, surveying land, disaster assistance, and news gathering, as well as recreational purposes.
from the Government Accountability Office website

The increase has created a challenge for those trying to regulate the airspace without limiting the burgeoning of new technology. The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation and NASA are working to make integration process smooth and safe.

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The Collier Trophy Selection Committee meets in Arlington Virginia on April 2. The winner will be announced the next day and will be followed by a formal presentation of the Collier Trophy on June 11 at a location to be determined.

Lone Star and NASA are up against 8 other teams for the award:

  • Airborne Collision Avoidance System Team
  • Bombardier Global 7500
  • Gulfstream G500 and G600
  • Hubble Space Telescope Team
  • magni500 Electric Propulsion System
  • Project Heaviside
  • Stratolaunch Carrier Aircraft
  • The United States Air Force-Boeing X37B Orbital Test Vehicle Team
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Past winners of the Robert J. Collier Trophy include the crews of Apollo 11 and Apollo 8, the Mercury 7, Scott Crossfield, Elmer Sperry, Howard Hughes and Orville Wright. Projects and programs that have been the recipient of the Collier include the B-52, the Boeing 747, the Cessna Citation, the F-22 and the International Space Station.