Seven Schools Receive FAA Funding for Drone Research

The universities will split $4.4 million to perform a range of specific research initatives.

The FAA announced late last week that it will be awarding grants for drone research totalling $4.4 million to seven universities. 

The schools will focus on: 

  • Electromagnetic compatibility
  • Detect and avoid classifications
  • Cybersecurity oversight

“This funding and our ongoing partnerships with these universities will allow the FAA to safely integrate the airspace that has a growing number of diverse aircraft users,” said FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen.

The seven schools receiving funding are:

  • The University of North Dakota
  • The University of Kansas
  • Drexel University
  • The Ohio State University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Mississippi State University
  • Oregon State University

Each school will have a specific research focus. 



Evaluate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Electromagnetic Compatibility

The following schools’ research will assess the risks, identify drone design vulnerabilities, identify material and procedural mitigations, and propose guidance for safer electromagnetic compatibility with emitted and static fields.

  • The University of North Dakota
  • The University of Kansas
  • Drexel University

Investigate Detect-and-Avoid Track Classification and Filtering

Schools granted funds for this initiative will provide proposed metrics, guidance, and test methods to assess the effects of false or misleading information on detect-and-avoid capabilities. The findings will support beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations. The schools working on this track are:   

  • The Ohio State University 
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University 
  • Mississippi State University 
  • University of North Dakota 

Illustrate the Need for UAS Cybersecurity Oversight and Risk Management

The following school will do research to address this in regards to the National Airspace System and other FAA systems.

  • University of Kansas 
  • Oregon State University 
  • Drexel University 

These funds represent the second round of Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) grants, which brings the total of 15 grants valued at $18.3 million for 2022.

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