Indiana State University Newsroom



National Guard to share airspace, resources with unmanned systems program

December 5, 2011

The Indiana National Guard will share restricted airspace and other resources with the unmanned systems program at Indiana State University, officials announced Monday.

Indiana State President Daniel J. Bradley and Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, adjutant general of the Indiana National Guard, signed two memorandums of understanding at ISU Monday while formally announcing the partnership. In the new agreement, Indiana State will be able to use the restricted air space, runway and other resources at the Camp Atterbury - Muscatatuck Center for Complex Operations, or CAMCCO, in southeastern Indiana. The announcement came shortly after the Center for Unmanned Systems Outreach and Human Capital Development, which includes unmanned vehicles initiatives, was named as a recipient of funding under ISU's Strategic Plan, the Pathway to Success.

President Bradley mentioned the new initiative before telling Maj. Gen. Umbarger that "our partnership with you will be a big part of that moving forward."

"The announcements today show the aviation department's motivation to be leaders in Indiana and the region," said Bradford Sims, dean of the College of Technology. "The hard work of the department to get to this point is well recognized, and many more opportunities will be available as a result of these announcements and partnerships."

To fly unmanned aircraft to teach students, ISU would need a certificate of authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration, said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Hauser, who is assistant adjutant general for air for the Indiana Air National Guard and assistant professor of aviation technology and director of unmanned systems at ISU. He explained that regulations are different for using airspace for recreation or for instructional purposes.

Under the new agreement, ISU will be able to use CAMCCO's restricted airspace. The memorandum also lists ISU as the coordinating agency for other nongovernmental organizations that want to use the restricted CAMCCO airspace.

"This is a great opportunity for the unmanned systems program," Hauser said. "This is such a fast-growing field, and universities across the country are starting to pick up on it, that if we can get in there and be the coordinating agency, it will highlight us, because I can see a lot of folks wanting to use that airspace, because not every organization is going to have airspace where they can fly their vehicles."

ISU and the Indiana National Guard started discussing the agreement about nine months ago, Hauser said. Richard Baker, director of the Center for Crisis Leadership and Homeland Security at ISU, negotiated with the Indiana National Guard about cooperation to use CAMCCO resources, including several educational buildings, tunnels, a hospital and power plant on 1,000 acres of land, Hauser said.

Umbarger explained how real-world missions involving unmanned aerial vehicles are taking place out of the 181st intelligence wing in Terre Haute. He also said that the unmanned systems endeavor at ISU is "going to be very, very needed for the U.S."

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Events/Memorandum-of-Understanding/i-DQcmn5q/0/L/12052011memorandumofunderstand-L.jpg (ISU/Tony Campbell)
Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, adjutant general of the Indiana National Guard, and Indiana State University President Daniel J. Bradley sign the memorandums of understanding as the new partnership was announced Monday.

Contact: Harry Minniear, chair, aviation technology department, College of Technology, Indiana State University, 812-237-2641, or harry.minniear@indstate.edu.

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or austin.arceo-negrich@indstate.edu.