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Virginia's UMS Facilities and Resources

The Commonwealth of Virginia is proud and privileged to be the home of numerous facilities and resources throughout the state. Ranging from air, land, or sea, Virginia offers more access and opportunities than any other state.

Take a look at what Virginia has to offer your UMS business:



Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP)

Where Ideas Become Reality

Tomorrow's technology is happening today at Virginia Tech. The Unmanned Aerial Systems being tested at the MAAP facility at Virginia Tech will one day usher in a technological and industrial revolution in science, agriculture, municipal services, and public safety.

The MAAP is led by Virginia Tech in partnership with the University of Maryland and Rutgers University in New Jersey.


What is MAAP?

Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) was founded in response to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which required the FAA to establish a program to integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS).

Virginia Tech was awarded to lead one of six national test sites. The team is led by researchers from Virginia Tech, the University of Maryland, and Rutgers University of New Jersey.

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What kind of research is being conducted at MAAP?

The research conducted under MAAP Certificate of Authorizations (COA) span Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS) concepts, vehicle systems integration, sensor testing, first responder applications, linear infrastructure inspections, and more. The research and testing performed by the MAAP paves the way for routine UAS access to the skies, and for the development, systems integration, and testing of viable commercial products and UAS operations.  The team at MAAP is focused on providing Virginia's citizens and businesses with a revolutionary technology that will save them time and money, and bring countless new jobs to the Commonwealth. 

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Where is MAAP located?

MAAP currently consists of 15 fully operational or near-operational launch and recovery sites, and nine pending sites. MAAP and the DoD have partnered with federal facilities such as the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia‚Äôs eastern shore for UAS flight operations requiring access to remote areas, over water, and in restricted airspace.  Both the Wallops Flight Facility and Langley Research Center have a rich history in flight research and operate COAs for federal research purposes or research that involves direct industry/university partnerships with NASA or the DoD. These capabilities include the City Environment for Range Testing of Autonomous Integrated Navigation (CERTAIN) at Langley Research Center providing an outdoor urban environment for UAS testing.

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What makes Virginia unique?

After the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, the FAA sought out locations that featured a variety of benefits including geography, climate, ground infrastructure, and research needs. Virginia was immediately identified as an ideal place to not only test and research UAS technology, but also to provide the right business environment for unmanned technology companies big and small.

Virginia provides a perfect variety of terrain, weather conditions, and population density. The Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries are sought out as the go-to place for testing and research for unmanned systems technology.

The MAAP, working with these diverse and highly experienced assets, provides FAA-designated UAS test site services across a diverse array of environments for National Airspace System integration research, vehicle systems integration, and the research required to mature these technologies for industrial application, as well as a wide range of supporting services.

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How will the technology being researched by the MAAP be used?

The MAAP, Virginia Department of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) are working together to leverage UAS capabilities for highway system management. The MAAP and the federal facilities within Virginia can provide any UAS testing environment for maturation of commercial or defense related UAS applications, operation of small to large UAS, and operation in integrated civil/DoD or integrated air/land/maritime scenarios.

Additionally, unmanned aerial, ground, and maritime systems share many technical challenges in common. The proximity of Virginia's research institutions, federal laboratories, and testing capabilities provide the ecosystem where ideas and technology advances can be readily leveraged across these domains.

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Additional Information:

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Both the NASA Wallops Flight Facility and NASA Langley Research Center have a rich history in flight research and operate COAs for Federal research purposes or research that involves direct industry/university partnerships with NASA or the DoD. These capabilities include the City Environment for Range Testing of Autonomous Integrated Navigation (CERTAIN) at Langley Research Center providing an outdoor urban environment for UAS testing.



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VTTI has a $110 million infrastructure that includes three test beds used extensively for real-world, impactful transportation research; more than 90,000 square feet of building space located on-site in Blacksburg, Va.; data acquisition systems that can be used to collect real-world information about driver performance and behavior; and more than 60 owned and leased instrumented vehicles, including connected-automated Cadillac SRXs and a new International Lone Star tractor-trailer that will soon be instrumented for automation research.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Department of Motor Vehicles have entered into a new partnership with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), Transurban and HERE- Nokia's mapping business- to create the Virginia Automated Corridors. This initiative will streamline the use of Virginia roads and state-of-the-art test facilities for automated-vehicle testing, certification, and migration towards deployment. These corridors cover more than 70 miles of interstates and arterials in the Northern Virginia region and will provide car companies and suppliers of automated vehicles the ideal, real-world environments they need to test complex scenarios prior to putting their vehicles on more roadways.

The proximity of the Virginia Automated Corridors to Washington, DC facilitates access to the northern Virginia technology corridor and decision makers in DoD and Federal agencies. Two test-track environments are included - the Virginia Smart Road at VTTI and the Virginia International Raceway. The corridors integrate access to dedicated high-occupancy toll lanes, high-definition mapping capabilities, real-time traffic and incidents, intelligent routing, location cloud technology, pavement markings maintained by VDOT for completeness and retro-reflectivity, accurate localization via high-precision global navigation satellite systems, dedicated short-range communications and cellular technology, and sophisticated, unobtrusive data acquisition systems. Collaboration between the VTTI Smart Road and the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership is but one example of our ability to leverage and integrate our expertise across multiple modes of transportation and unmanned systems.

Virginia Automated Corridor Maps

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virginia smart road map


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The Joint Atlantic and Chesapeake Ranges Cooperative (JACRC) is an alliance of Department of Defense test and training ranges and facilities in Maryland, Virginia and Rhode Island. JACRC members collaborate in supporting the research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) requirements, as well as interoperability requirements of Department of Defense acquisition managers. They support and cooperate in all phases of Warfighter Readiness Training and Joint Forces Warfare Experimentation.

The JACRC works together to support service-specific test and training events and exercises -- from small-scale, unit-level events, to medium- and large-scale exercises. 

JACRC Fact Sheet and Points of Contact
JACRC Support Facilities

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Virginia Tech's Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering offers a unique blend of two disciplines that takes advantage of commonality in the analysis and design of aerospace and ocean systems. The adjacent Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VTCRC) is a growing, prestigious research park for high-technology companies that advance the research, educational and technology transfer missions of the university. Together with the developing VTCRC Newport News, Virginia location, the expertise and technology available at Virginia Tech will be collated in the heart of the Hampton Roads maritime environment.

Visit the Department of Aerospace & Ocean Engineering Website

To find the contact information to these facilities, as well as Director Tynan, visit the Contact Us page.