EagleView Technology Corporation, a provider of aerial imagery technology, data analytics and GIS solutions, has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Pictometry International Corp., has designed and is developing an outdoor netted research lab at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, New York. The lab will allow for advanced sensor research and flight training on unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
“The netted enclosure lab is an ideal test environment that allows full access to GPS signals that are essential for drone operation,” explained Frank Giuffrida, EVP of engineering at EagleView. “It also removes any flight restrictions that are imposed by the FAA for operations within the National Airspace System (NAS).”
The 100’ x 100’ x 50’ outdoor lab will provide a space to develop and test new drone technologies and allows for the incorporation of important test variables such as the impact of weather conditions on signal processing. Previous research was restricted to indoor locations due to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines that prohibit the flying of unmanned aircraft within five miles of an airport or within the NAS.
The removal of flight restrictions opens the door for more creativity in system development and testing including experimental systems that may otherwise be hindered by restrictive regulations. “This lab will allow students and researchers alike to build systems and fly and test them without the burden of researching regulations and safety issues related to open outdoor drone flights,” stated Giuffrida. “In addition to advancing our research efforts the lab also provides a great opportunity for RIT students to learn more about UAS technology and the science behind it, such as imaging capture, flight control and sense and avoidance.”
Pictometry has a research and development team focused on advancing the technology capacity in UAS and has been working closely with RIT through the NUAIR Alliance, of which RIT is a regional academic leader. NUAIR, the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance, is a group of more than 40 companies and universities in New York and Massachusetts selected in December 2013 as one of six FAA test sites in the U.S.
This will be one of the first enclosures built at a Northeast university. The lab will be located on the RIT campus in Rochester, NY and open year-round.