OSU Flies to Forefront in UAV Research

OSU Flies to Forefront in UAV Research


ROB MCCLENDON: WELL ONE
AREA OKLAHOMA DOES LEAD
THE NATION IN U-A-V DEVELOPMENT
IS IN EDUCATION. OKLAHOMA STATE HAS THE
NATION’S FIRST AND ONLY
U-A-V ENGINEERING DEGREE OPTION AT THE
GRADUATE LEVEL. IT IS A PROGRAM WITH AN
EMPHASIS IN RESEARCH AND
HANDS-ON DESIGN, AS WELL AS CONSTRUCTION
AND FLIGHT TESTING. AND OUR KELA KELN WENT
TO GO TAKE A LOOK. KELA: THERE IS A LOT OF
EXCITEMENT IN THE PUBLIC
SAFETY WORLD ALL DUE TO THE FOUND BENEFITS OF
UNMANNED VEHICLES. THESE AIRCRAFTS ARE
VALUABLE IN NUMEROUS WAYS
FROM SEARCH AND RESCUE MISSIONS TO EVEN PRECISION
AGRICULTURE; AND OF
COURSE, THE MORE NOTABLE MILITARY APPLICATIONS
THAT WE HAVE
ALL SEEN IN THE NEWS. KELA KELLN: TINKERING
AND ADJUSTING TO
MAKE THINGS PERFECT. OKLAHOMA’S UNMANNED
AIRCRAFT RESEARCH IS MILES
AHEAD OF OTHER PROGRAMS. JAMEY JACOB IS ONE OF THE
LEAD INSTUCTORS WORKING ON
UAV RESEARCH IN THE STATE. JAMEY JACOB: OUR REAL
CONCERN IS INVESTIGATING
THINGS THAT CAN YOU KNOW HELP OKLAHOMA GROW BOTH IN
TERMS OF ITS ECONOMY, HELP
PUBLIC SAFETY AND REALLY PUT THOSE ALSO IN THE
HANDS OF CONSUMERS THAT
THEY CAN DISCOVER NEW WAYS THAT THEY CAN USE
UNMANNED AIRCRAFTS. KELA: THESE UNMANNED
AIRCRAFT ARE INCREASINGLY
GROWING IN IMPORTANCE BUT MOST STILL DON’T
UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY
CAN BE USED FOR. JACOB: THE ANALOGY I
ALWAYS LIKE TO GIVE IS, I
MEAN AIRCRAFT RIGHT NOW, IS LIKE THE EARLY
SMART PHONE INDUSTRY
BACK IN THE LATE 1990S. NOBODY KNEW THAT THEY
NEEDED A SMART PHONE OR
EVEN WHAT A SMART PHONE COULD BE USED FOR UNTIL
THEY WERE INTRODUCED. NOW EVERYONE KNOWS,
OH I HAVE TO HAVE MY
SMART PHONE WITH ME. I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT
YOU KNOW TO BE ABLE TO
CHECK ALL THESE THINGS AND FIGURE OUT ALL THE
GREAT STUFF THAT YOU CAN
DO WITH A SMART PHONE. UAVS ARE A LOT LIKE
THAT RIGHT NOW. VERY EARLY IN TECHNOLOGY,
YOU KNOW WE KNOW SOME OF
THE THINGS THAT THEY ARE GOING TO BE USEFUL FOR,
BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF
THINGS ALSO THAT WE HAVEN’T EVEN FIGURED
OUT THAT THEY COULD
BE USEFUL FOR AS WELL. KELA: AND WORKING TO
BETTER UNDERSTAND THOSE
USES, THOMAS HAYS HAS WORKED ON A TEAM TO
BUILD A PROTOTYPE FOR
THE U S GOVERNMENT. THOMAS HAYS: THIS IS TAOS,
IT’S AN AIRPLANE MADE FOR
THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. IT’S TO DO BORDER PATROL. IT’S ONE OF THE CONCEPTS
THAT THEY ASKED
UNIVERSITIES TO DEVELOP, AND WE WERE ONE OF FOUR
UNIVERSITIES WHOSE
PROPOSALS WERE SELECTED FOR A GRANT TO ACTUALLY
BUILD A PROTOTYPE. MOST OTHER SCHOOLS
BUILT A HALF-SCALE
OR SMALLER PROTOTYPE. BUT HERE AT OKLAHOMA STATE
WE DECIDED TO GO AHEAD AND
DO FULL SCALE SINCE WE HAVE THE
FACILITIES TO DO
JUST THAT, SO. THIS IS A ONE-TO-ONE
SCALE OF THE
AIRCRAFT WE DESIGNED. AND IT IS READY TO HOLD
THE PROPULSION SYSTEMS
THAT DHS ASKED US TO DESIGN FOR. KELA: AND WHILE SOME OF
THESE UAVS ARE HELPING THE
MILITARY DO THEIR JOB, USES IN AGRICULTURE
ARE ALSO BEING FOUND. JAMES KIDD: I’M WORKING
ON MENTORING A PROGRAM
FOR SMALL UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES THAT RELATES TO
PRECISION AGRICULTURE,
WHERE WE ARE TRYING TO WORK WITH THE BIO AG
ENGINEERING FOLKS AND
GOING TO BE FLYING OVER SOME OF THE EXPERIMENTAL
FIELDS THAT THEY HAVE AND
COLLECTING SOME DATA THAT WILL HELP THEM UNDERSTAND
BETTER HOW, THEY ARE,
SOME OF THEIR SYSTEMS ARE WORKING AND HOW SOME OF
THEIR CROPS ARE WORKING. KELA: JUST SOME OF THE
MANY WAYS DRONES ARE
BECOMING MORE AND MORE A PART OF OUR
EVERYDAY LIVES. JACOB: IF WE BECOME THE
LEADER IN UAV TECHNOLOGY,
IF WE ARE SEEN AT THAT, AND REALLY WE ALREADY
THINK WE ARE, WE JUST NEED
TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE ELSE KNOWS ABOUT IT AS WELL. IT’S A GREAT THING
FOR THE STATE. YOU KNOW IT HELPS ATTRACT
NOT ONLY FEDERAL DOLLARS
TO THE STATE BUT ALSO LOTS OF RESEARCH DOLLARS
FROM INDUSTRY. KELA KELLN: UNMANNED
AERIAL VEHICLES LIKE THESE
ARE GOVERNED BY THE SAME FAA FLIGHT RULES
AS MANNED AIRCRAFT, WHICH HAS LIMITED SOME
OF THEIR APPLICATIONS. BUT REVISIONS TO THESE
RULES COULD COME AS EARLY
AS 2015, ALLOWING U-A-VS TO
FLY IN COMMERCIAL
AIRSPACE.

Eugene Islam

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