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Drone Aviation tests tethered UAS

2nd September 2015 - 11:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Drone Aviation and the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (VTMAAP) are partnering to research and test its tethered unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for commercial applications, Drone Aviation announced on 31 August.

Drone Aviation's WATT-200 tethered UAS will be the focus of the research and testing. The system offers aerial real-time video monitoring while being tethered to the ground with a high-strength armoured tether. 

The two organisations began flight testing in Jacksonville, Florida earlier in August to explore the safety, reliability and commercial-use cases for Drone Aviation's family of tethered UAS. The results will be ultimately reported to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Jay Nussbaum, chairman, Drone Aviation, said: 'We are excited to demonstrate the advantages and many potential civil and commercial uses of our tethered drones. This ongoing partnership will focus on evaluating the increased safety features and technical advantages of our tethered drones and sharing that data with the FAA for the potential commercial deployment of WATT systems into the national airspace for first responders and commercial entities.'

Rose Mooney, executive director, VTMAAP, said: 'At Virginia Tech, we see tremendous opportunity for tethered-drone technology because of its unique capabilities and safety profile, making it applicable to a large number of applications from news broadcasting to emergency response and facility security. We look forward to working with Drone Aviation, the FAA, and our consortium partners to explore the commercial application of this novel UAS technology.'

The FAA selected VTMAAP as one of six national test sites for researching the integration of UAS into US national airspace. The partnership has since worked on UAS for applications including emergency responders, agricultural land study, energy pipeline infrastructure surveys and news coverage.

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