Huntsville Center's George Wade releases a drone for a flight over the UAH campus.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – HNC’s George Wade releases a drone for a flight over the UAH campus. (Photo Credit: Elizabeth Canfil) VIEW ORIGINAL
Huntsville Center's Brian Roden (L) and Josh Mason monitor a flight over the UAH campus.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Huntsville Center's Brian Roden (L) and Josh Mason monitor a flight over the UAH campus. (Photo Credit: Elizabeth Canfil) VIEW ORIGINAL

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The US Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville has partnered with University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) to support research and operational excellence in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The partnership will allow both organizations to jointly identify key research areas in UAS technologies, applications, and operations.

Under the terms of the recently signed MOU, Huntsville Center will assist UAH with federal grant projects by providing drone support and expertise.

The collaboration between Huntsville Center and UAH is already under way with Huntsville Center currently mapping out the entire university campus and producing a 3D model of the site. This 3D model will aid in UAH research and assist Huntsville Center in conducting qualification and practice flights and image processing.

However, the partnership between Huntsville Center and UAH expands beyond the UAH campus. University of Alabama Huntsville was recently chosen as one of the sites for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport UAS Detection and Mitigation Research Program. Huntsville was one of only four locations in the United States that were selected to participate in the program, which aims to detect and mitigate safety issues that exist with unmanned aircraft.

Huntsville Center will be providing engineering and drone support for the building and development of the research and development site, located at Huntsville International Airport.

Throughout the duration of the project and under the terms of the MOU, Huntsville Center will assist UAH not only with the FAA program but with other federal grant projects by providing drone support and expertise.

One of the federal grants that UAH is currently pursuing is developing forest fire software with NASA. If awarded, Huntsville Center would be used as the applied research and development component for the project.

“We are looking forward to joining forces with UAH on current and projected projects,” says Huntsville Center Senior Civil Design Engineer, Joshua Mason.

The work on the various projects will be conducted by both Huntsville Center employees as well as students from UAH, offering students a unique opportunity to gain experience and an understanding of the work the Corps does. As the relationship grows, Huntsville Center hopes to be able to expand the work with students and recruit talent into various internship and employment roles.