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The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration announced a $2.7 million award to fund research on drone usage in disaster mitigation and emergency situations.
The study will investigate how drones can provide an effective and efficient response to various natural and man-made calamities, according to an Aug. 18 FAA news release.
“Every second counts in an emergency, and this funding will allow drones to safely and more quickly deploy in moments when minutes matter,” Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said in the release.
The award is the third round of grants provided through the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence, bringing the total to 20 grants valued at $21 million for fiscal year 2022, the release reported. The ASSURE Center of Excellence, focused on research into the integration of drone technology into America's airspace, is one of six similar centers established to advance technology and educate future aviation professionals.
In early 2022, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg outlined six key innovation principles the DOT will hold to when developing transportation technologies. According to the release, the awards prove the DOT's commitment to upholding the highest standards of safety in transportation technology while aiding communities and public partners and continuing to innovate.
More than 850,000 recreational and commercial drones are currently active, with that number expected to grow in the coming years, the release reported.