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Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Ohio State has extensive capabilities, expertise, and facilities in Unmanned Aircraft Systems.  Until recently, however, these activities have been distributed across many laboratories and departments, and have lacked cohesion.  Professor James Gregory, director of the Aerospace Research Center (ARC) for UAS, is spearheading the ARC’s efforts to provide leadership and coordination for our outstanding research activities in UAS.  Ohio State and ARC will be leading the state of Ohio’s response to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) upcoming solicitation for a Center of Excellence in UAS.

Beyond our key strengths, we have expertise and experience across all the domains of interest for FAA UAS research.  Ohio State has an active aviation program and flight school, with a strong asset in the Ohio State Airport (KOSU), a university-owned and operated airport located in/under complex controlled (Class D / Class C) airspace.  Ohio State has a number of unmanned flight vehicles available for research including multi-rotors, several Bat-3 aircraft, and the custom-designed Peregrine.  Ohio State has deep research connections with Ohio-based government labs active in UAS (AFRL, NASA Glenn), industry (GE Aviation), and partner universities.  There is extremely strong support from the state of Ohio in the Ohio/Indiana UAS Test Site Complex, with test sites across the state.  Ohio State has substantial experience with FAA Centers of Excellence: Ohio State is a core integration university for PEGASAS (Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability) and a core member of NEXTOR II (FAA Consortium in Aviation Operations Research).  Ohio State is also a competitor in NASA’s UAS Challenge, focused on development and flight demonstration of detect-and-avoid capability.

As a research university, Ohio State has one of the most comprehensive research programs in the area of Aerospace, Aviation, and Flight (AAF).  Research funding in this area alone in the College of Engineering exceeds $160 Million, including more than $45M in industrial research expenditures over the last ten years.  More than 300 graduate students conduct research in this area annually throughout the Center for Aviation Studies, the Aerospace Research Center, and the ElectroScience Laboratory.  Research facilities include more than a half-million square feet of laboratories with a capital equipment value of more than $108M.  Ohio State is a land-grant institution with a Carnegie classification as a research university with very high research activity.

For more information on Ohio State’s UAS activities, please contact Professor Jim Gregory at