Texas grants USD3 million to LSUASC centre of excellence to develop emergency response efforts

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft System Center of Excellence and Innovation (LSUASC) designated Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test site has received USD3 million in exceptional item funding for FY 22-23 biennium from the Texas Legislature. In conjunction with the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), LSUASC has been tasked by the State of Texas to develop a disaster response and recovery division to support all levels of government in their emergency management efforts. The initiative combining state, county and city agencies aims to provide Texans safer skies and next generation disaster response services.

As part of this initiative, Avision’s Uncrewed Traffic Management (UTM) platform provides LSUASC with drone mission planning, airspace management, and flight execution services. LSUASC extends Avision’s reach by fostering partnerships via research work, live flight demonstrations, data validation, and coordinating with key agencies. In 2019, Avision joined efforts with LSUASC, NASA, and the FAA to demonstrate and validate key airspace services needed to recognize and integrate drones safely into the national airspace. Today, Avision’s next-generation airspace management services are deployed in the US and internationally.

To test their capabilities, LSUASC pilots, technicians, staff, and interns, in conjunction with the City of Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Corpus Christi Fire Department, and Corpus Christi Police Department, ran a disaster simulation from September 20-22, 2022. The exercise, which took place in various locations around Nueces County, simulated what might occur during a weather-related natural disaster.

LSUASC will continue to develop innovative tactics and technologies that may soon be seen deploying across Texas in the wake of a disaster.

Tye Payne, LSUASC Director of Operations, noted that in the aftermath of a disaster, time is of the essence. First responders need fast, accurate information to save lives, and LSUASC can provide it. “This exercise was more successful than we could have hoped. Not only did it provide training value for all the participants involved, but it better developed our team, concept of operations, and support to those operations,” Payne said. “Most of all, it instilled confidence in our teams and in the participants throughout Corpus Christi and Nueces County, that LSUASC leads the way in supporting first responders and technology throughout the Coastal Bend and the State of Texas.”

Avision’s Emergency Response Dashboard is designed to provide real-time situational awareness to state, county, and city disaster coordinators. Avision’s SAAS-based platform offers insights on where resources are deployed and how close to the emergency those resources can and should be positioned.

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