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Miss. State’s Unmanned Aircraft...

Miss. State’s Unmanned Aircraft System receives FEMA funding

By: Anne Summerhays - June 29, 2021

Photo from MSU

Congressman Guest applauds the multi-million dollar investment.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently announced funding for Mississippi State University’s Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

For fiscal year 2021, the funds provided to the MSU Center by FEMA’s Homeland Security National Training Program Continuing Training Grant total approximately $2 million and are intended to be used to develop training programs for the use of drones in disaster preparation and response.

“The development of these UAS training programs will save lives in the coming years. Mississippi and other states in our region will face the inevitable storms and floods of the future with increased preparedness thanks in part to this program and the grants that make it possible,” Representative Michael Guest said in a statement.

Scientists are using UAS technology to attempt to solve pressing world problems such as famine by using unmanned aircraft to revolutionize farming techniques and improve crop yields through precision agriculture.

UAS technology can also be used to aid in emergency response efforts, create biofuel and clean fuel technologies, and help with law enforcement and environmental monitoring.

Mississippi State University’s Raspet Flight Laboratory was designated in 2020 as the FAA’s UAS Safety Research Facility. This laboratory is the only institute in the world that is designated as the FAA’s UAS Safety Research Facility and as official UAS Test Sites for both the FAA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Companies such as Airbus Helicopters, Aurora Flight Science, GE Aerospace and Stark Aerospace have established bases in Mississippi due to MSU’s efforts, bringing in more than 700 high-tech jobs to the state.

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: