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ASSURE, Led by Mississippi State University, Announces New UAS Research Initiatives at AUVSI Xpontential

May 2, 2018

XMarkstheSpotRecently, the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) released its research findings on the dangers of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) colliding with a commercial aircraft. Since then, the general public, lawmakers and industry representatives have wondered, “now what?”

ASSURE will seek to answer this question on Wednesday, May 2, at its Industry Day held during AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2018, one of the largest drone conferences in the U.S., currently taking place in Denver, Colorado. ASSURE, its coalition of research institutions, more than a hundred industry/government partners, as well as the FAA, plan to review recent study findings and announce follow-on research, as well as recently added areas of study.

These include additional research into areas such as Ground Collision Severity, Air Collision Severity (Rotorcraft, General Aviation, and Commercial Transport Engines), Detect and Avoid for beyond-visual-line of sight operations, and other initiatives to improve overall system safety.

“We knew from the beginning that we would have additional studies come out of the initial research,” said Mississippi State University’s Marty Rogers, Director of ASSURE. “That is the nature of research, you study something and the results of those studies inform us of new issues that require more study and testing. What is really exciting is that the results of the work we are engaged in right now will be critical to the safety of air operations here in the United States and around the world.”

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is currently reviewing the ASSURE proposals approved by the FAA. With DOT concurrence, ASSURE researchers plan to begin their work early this summer.

Follow-on research has already begun for the Ground Collision study team. Dave Arterburn, Lead ASSURE Principle Investigator for the project, explained, “The FAA has asked us to expand the number of small UAS tested to verify our results, through more testing, modeling and post-mortem human matching studies. By the time we complete this phase of research, we hope to have developed a methodology and test, acceptable to the FAA, for measuring and testing small UAS risk to operations over people.”
ASSURE partners represent 23 of the world’s top research institutions and more than a hundred leading industry and government partners. ASSURE membership includes representation in 13 states, 9 countries, and over 200 locations, and is core to 3 UAS test sites. Learn more at