August 12, 2013
Oklahoma Department of Commerce Leads Delegation to one of World's Largest UAS Gathering to Promote its Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Sector – Booth 2302
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Oklahoma Department of Commerce is sending a delegation of Oklahoma aerospace companies and organizations to the 2013 AUVSI show, taking place in Washington DC, August 12-15, 2013, to showcase the state’s assets and capabilities in UAS. The delegation will be led by Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Technology, Dr. Stephen McKeever.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase Oklahoma’s value proposition and the many business factors that make Oklahoma a top destination for the UAS industry ,” said McKeever. “When companies considering entering the UAS space evaluate the market options, they’ll find Oklahoma’s proposition and the differentiators that make our market unique, extremely compelling.
McKeever said Oklahoma has the infrastructure and policies in place that make the state a global center of excellence in aerospace and Unmanned Aerial Systems.
Aerospace is one of Oklahoma's largest industry sectors, employing more than 143,000 people at more than 500 companies.
Oklahoma is also fast becoming THE PLACE in the United States for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) both for commercial and military applications. Oklahoma is home to the only UAV Testing and Training Facility in the United States dedicated solely to the UAV marketplace. The state also has the first university graduate degree in UAV at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater and is the only place in the U.S. that offers restricted airspace for commercial UAV testing.
Already the state’s UAS infrastructure is meeting the development, application and operation needs of the military and the fast-emerging commercial UAS industry related to precision agriculture, exploration of natural resources, crop and herd monitoring and management, forestry, meteorology, first response, law enforcement, and border patrol:
• University of Oklahoma researchers are utilizing UAS platforms for weather and radar-related research and using UAS-based technology for applications that range from lower atmospheric monitoring and boundary layer studies to the development of innovative new sense-and–avoid technologies. The National Weather Center and OU’s new Radar Innovations Laboratory (scheduled for completion in 2013) will continue to play important roles in OU’s UAS-based applications research.
• In June 2012, Oklahoma was selected by the US Dept. of Homeland Security as their test site for their new program “Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety” a program to test, then certify small UAS for use by first responders across the US. DHS officials are evaluating roughly 50 companies’ SUAS platforms and technologies in Oklahoma.
• Oklahoma has a formal agreement with the FAA and the U.S. Air Force to research and facilitate the future use of UAS in support of the FAA testing electronic navigational systems worldwide.
• Award of multi-year contract with the National Guard to advance the UAS training capabilities at Camp Gruber, OK, a U.S. Army 33,000-acre training facility in eastern Oklahoma.
• University of Oklahoma researchers developed an unmanned mini-helicopter with a 6-foot rotary wingspan as part of a $12 million, five-year project to create a security system for our nation’s 360 ports; it was flown and demonstrated at Oklahoma’s Port of Catoosa – the largest inland port in the U.S.
• First response professionals in Oklahoma rely on UAS called Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS) to assist with a variety of events, including wildfires, floods, train derailment, oil and gas mishaps, and various natural disasters.
Oklahoma’s top industries – including agriculture and oil and gas – are expected to be among the biggest end users of UAS technology. UAS will allow farmers to more efficiently monitor crops and distribute pesticides, which could help improve efficiency among the state’s 86,000 farms and maintain the state’s position as a national leader in wheat production. UAS will also enable oil and gas companies to more efficiently survey pipelines, drilling rigs and other critical infrastructure.
The new solar-optimized UAV, ETURNAS, developed by Norman, OK based Design Intelligence Incorporated, LLC and MicroLink Devices, Inc. epitomizes Oklahoma's position at the forefront of UAS technological innovation. The ETURNAS UAV weighs less than nine pounds and uses a reconfigurable solar wing design that allows users to adjust the configuration of the UAV for specific applications such as long-loiter (slow-speed) or faster “dash” configurations. When operated in good sun and weather conditions, the ETURNAS UAV has more than three times the endurance of traditional battery-powered UAVs. The ETURNAS UAV can accommodate a variety of modular payloads such as sensors, cameras, and detectors.
“UAS represents one of the fastest-growing segments of the aerospace industry, which already is an important part of the Oklahoma economy,” said Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. “We are taking the steps necessary to create an environment conducive to job creation and investment that also positions Oklahoma as a national leader in the advancement of UAS technology.”
By establishing tax incentives targeted towards aerospace professionals and companies such as The Aerospace Engineering Tax Credit, state officials hope to capture a large share of this growth. This credit provides a $5,000 per year tax credit to engineers hired into the aerospace industry as well as gives the companies that hire them a 10 percent credit for hiring in-state graduates and a 5 percent credit for hiring from other states.
“When looking at what sets Oklahoma apart from other investment destinations, the differentiators are our state government’s willingness to work closely with the companies looking to invest and industry related R&D activity,” said Governor Fallin.
Oklahoma companies / organizations that will be part of the AUVSI Show Oklahoma booth include:
- Design Intelligence Incorporated LLC
- Frontier Electronic Systems Corp.
- Tactical Electronics
- Supero Police and Fire Rescue
- Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
- Oklahoma State University - University Multispectral Laboratories
- Lawton-Fort Sill EDC
- Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission
- Ponca City Development Authority
- Public Service Company of Oklahoma
- Stillwater Chamber of Commerce
- Tulsa Regional Chamber
- The University of Oklahoma