In just a few months, researchers could be sending unmanned aircraft into the air from Joint Base Cape Cod to test an array of experimental sensors over land and water. With drone flights strictly limited by federal regulators, the testing program at the military installation is a chance for New England companies, academics, and independent engineers to send their lab work skyward.
Granted, you’ll probably need binoculars to see them. Chris Kluckhuhn, whose company was contracted to oversee the Cape Cod program, said the vast expanse of government land was picked so Massachusetts residents won’t be disturbed by, say, a camera-outfitted quadcopter flying above their neighborhoods.
“It shouldn’t be any significant thing for the public. You’re not going to see big, huge drones flying overhead,” said Kluckhuhn, the head of Plymouth-based Avwatch and a former helicopter pilot for the Coast Guard. MassDevelopment, a quasi-public state agency whose goals include making full use of military bases, said Monday it awarded a $220,000 contract to Avwatch to manage the test program and install antennas and computer networks.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com