Verizon selects Oregon site for its drone and robotics test facility

Verizon Robotics drone

Verizon Robotics, the automation and machine development unit of the global communications giant, has said it will expand its testing and proof-of-concept capabilities by basing those activities at Oregon’s drone and aerial tech trial facility, Pendleton Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Range.

Verizon Robotics made the announcement Tuesday, saying it will focus its advanced air research, drone partnerships, and long-range robotics development and testing work at the Pendleton Range. Situated in northeastern Oregon, the facility features more than 14,000 square-miles of Federal Aviation Administration-approved airspace, which facilitates advanced drone flight operations and testing. The complex hosts between 400 and 1,000 operations each month. 

As part of its activity relocation, Verizon Robotic will train Pendleton Range staff to manage and operate a rapid-response command unit vehicle. That mobile asset will be capable of deploying mission-critical communications, applications, and advanced computing solutions that can address and respond to robotics use-cases on the ground and in aerial operations alike. 

The range of applications the Pendleton Range offers is expected to provide Verizon Robotics an ideal trial facility for drones and ground-based machines alike, as it seeks to develop new tech services as business solutions it provides.

“The operations we are deploying at Pendleton Range will help advance R&D initiatives for customers,” said Mariah Scott, president, Verizon Robotics. “The range’s location helps create a local innovation testbed that can emulate real-life conditions, helping to bring products and services to market faster.” 

The move is a major step in Verizon Robotics’ continued expansion of enterprise solutions for drones and ground robotic tech through use of its software, connectivity, and industry innovations. 

One example of that is its development of software that helps to safely integrate drones into the National Airspace System with the objective of allowing piloted aircraft and drones to operate safely and seamlessly together. Coupled with Verizon’s Skyward Low Altitude Authorization & Notification Capability service, customers can gain access to US controlled airspace, and create unique and differentiated air navigation intelligence for their operations. 

Darryl Abling, manager of the Pendleton Range, says his organization will be a useful partner in assisting Verizon Robotics to bring its drone, machine, and software developments into operational reality faster.

“The Pendleton Range is excited to be working with Verizon Robotics to provide state-of-the-art situational awareness technology to one of the busiest UAV test ranges in the US,” Abling said. “This investment will help to develop technologies and processes that will help accelerate overall aviation innovation as robotics become more integrated into the National Airspace System.”

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