Flying A Drone

At MAAP, we focus on foundational technologies and high-value operations that will enable the efficient use of unmanned aircraft for a broad range of applications and lay the groundwork for meaningful UAS integration. We have the skills and resources to provide unparalleled capability in these key areas: 

Airworthiness Certification
MAAP helps companies navigate the FAA type certification process by providing expertise, facilities, and testing capabilities to develop custom certification bases and demonstrate compliance. We work closely with FAA stakeholders to help companies overcome the critical certification hurdles and enable challenging operations rapidly. MAAP excels at the identification of an appropriate certification basis and subsequent means of compliance for the areas of greatest concern in the certification process.

Operations Over People
World-renowned injury biomechanics research at Virginia Tech and MAAP’s active involvement in industry standards make us uniquely positioned to lead research in safe operations of UAS over people. Through a collaboration with the Virginia Tech–Wake Forest Center for Injury Biomechanics, which is internationally recognized for their research into human injury mechanisms,  we are developing strategies to enable a majority of UAS operations over people in the near term, while working in parallel on long-term solutions that will make these operations truly efficient.

Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)
MAAP’s unique operational approvals and infrastructure enable BVLOS operations for many different applications. A radar-equipped, 5,000 mi2 “Beyond the Horizons” test range in central Virginia allows flights up to 7,000 feet AGL, in an area full of critical infrastructure such as pipelines, powerlines, railroads, and highways. The range offers Class G, E, and D airspace, and flight operations are supported by multiple airports accustomed to UAS flights.

Our facilities also include ideal test beds for urban BVLOS operations, including a location with a one-of-a-kind radio network.

UAS Communications
Secure, long-range, high-quality communications are one of the greatest challenges to UAS integration, and MAAP is working to address this need.  We collaborate with top-notch programs at Virginia Tech, including the Hume Center and Wireless@VT, which are developing revolutionary solutions to major communications challenges.

We are particularly interested in low-altitude, long distance command and control (C2) and payload datalinks to enable point-to-point linear infrastructure inspections ranging from hundreds to thousands of feet above ground level. We are also researching strategies to secure the UAS C2 links and counter UAS threats through datalinks.