- Virginia Tech, the University of Alaska and Texas A&M University Corpus Christi were among six institutions selected this week by the U.S. government as domestic test sites for drone aircraft.
- Virginia Tech will conduct "failure mode" testing to find out what happens when a control link is lost, though few details have been provided about what sort of testing the U. of Alaska and Texas A&M might conduct.
- The announcement doesn't just include government-operated military drones — commercial and private aircraft are included, as well.
It should come as no surprise that three research universities were among the places selected for these tests to take place. The three non-university institutions included Griffiss International Airport in Rome, N.Y.; the State of Nevada; and the North Dakota Department of Commerce. The sites were selected due to their diverse climates, air-space traffic, and other conditions. Congress has set a 2015 deadline for integrating drones into U.S. air traffic, and the tests will, overall, help determine safety standards and how to properly train and certify pilots operating the aircraft on the ground.