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University at Buffalo builds massive outdoor drone testing facility

UB Drone Facility
Posted at 9:10 AM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 09:10:08-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The University at Buffalo has built a 24,000 square foot research facility to test drones at its North Campus.

The massive netted complex will allow students and partners to conduct experiments on uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs), which are more commonly known as unmanned aerial vehicles or drones.

“The University at Buffalo is committed to addressing society’s most challenging issues. By creating a research complex dedicated to exploring the tremendous potential of uncrewed aerial vehicles, UB researchers, students and our partners will advance cutting-edge solutions that can help global food security challenges, disaster response, and anti-terrorism,” says Kemper Lewis, PhD, dean of UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Research will be conducted in the following areas

  • Autonomous technology – This involves UAVs, as well self-driving vehicles, which the university tests in the area outside the complex.
  • Sensors and surveillance – This field has applications in agriculture, military, homeland security, law enforcement, wildfire monitoring, bridge and building inspections, and other areas.
  • Small parcel delivery and logistics – This include studying using drones to deliver goods.
  • Drone fleets – Researchers at UB are exploring how drones can work together in emergency situations.

“Our plan is to leave the netting up year-round,” says Chase Murray, PhD, assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “This will enable us to conduct tests and improve the performance of UAVs in the often-harsh winter weather conditions that we encounter.”

You can find the facility adjacent to Crofts Hall.