In The News

In The News | Virginia Tech | April 13, 2017

Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, Corporate Partners Test Unmanned Aircraft Beyond Line of Sight

Flights just north of Farmville, Virginia, on Tuesday and Wednesday represented a major step forward for the unmanned aircraft industry by helping demonstrate that longer-range flights critical for the technology’s commercial practicality can be carried out safely and effectively.

The operation, conducted by the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, Ligado Networks, AeroVironment, Inc., and Dominion Virginia Power evaluated communications strategies and other parameters to help build a safety case for unmanned aircraft flights beyond the visual line of sight of a pilot or observer.

Current regulations for unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, prohibit these flights unless a specific waiver is granted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which controls the nation’s public airspace. However, many commercial applications for UAS will need beyond-visual-line-of-sight operations to be viable from a business perspective.

Read the full story at Virginia Tech.