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Two drones flying by each other in a field.

OSU institute announces military partnership for counter-UAS research

Monday, January 31, 2022

Media Contact: Jeff Hopper | Marketing Media Specialist | 405-744-2745 |

The Unmanned Systems Research Institute (USRI) at Oklahoma State University has announced the formation of a DOD Counter-UAS (unmanned aerial systems) Center of Excellence (COE).

Created in partnership with the U.S. military and industry leaders, the center will elevate USRI’s capacity to develop state-of-the-art technology and a highly-trained workforce equipped to sustain growth well into the future.

The newly formed center of excellence aims to provide a collaborative environment to rapidly develop and test counter-UAS capabilities, and bolster the U.S. military’s ability to attract a skilled, security-cleared workforce to develop and test this technology. It will utilize resources across the state, working with industry and federal agencies to coordinate and evaluate technology to ensure the U.S. retains the lead in UAS and counter-UAS technology for the foreseeable future.

“With the funding I was able to secure in this year’s [National Defense Authorization Act], Oklahoma State University has the great privilege to open the Counter UAS Center of Excellence, which will support counter-UAS activities across our nation’s military,” said U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, who has been instrumental in the formation of the COE. “I am proud of all the work we’ve been able to accomplish together over the years and I look forward to seeing how OSU will bring about great change with the Center of Excellence.”

The center will have a formal grand opening in fall 2022. Although the center’s work will be performed predominantly at the EXCELSIOR lab on OSU’s Stillwater campus, the footprint of the center’s reach will extend to OSU’s facilities in Oklahoma City — such as the Hamm Institute for American Energy at Oklahoma State University — and to the U.S. Army facilities at Fort Sill. 

USRI, housed in OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, will provide expertise on unmanned systems, autonomy, advanced materials and navigation solutions, as well as potential workforce candidates that will now have extensive, hands-on experience with systems and technologies developed through the COE.

“This goes back to OSU’s land-grant mission to not only support the needs of the citizens of the state, but to also assist both industry and other state and federal agencies, as well,” said Dr. Jamey Jacob, USRI director and OSU professor. “As drone use expands, the potential to use these systems for nefarious purposes also increases. This Center of Excellence provides the capability to address the needs of the DoD at large by providing cutting edge counter-UAS solutions, more specifically for the Army — its training mission at Fort Sill and its counter-UAS training school — as well as provide for the safety and well-being of the United States.”

As the adoption of UAS technology becomes more common, the need for systems designed to counter these technologies continues to grow. The COE will provide OSU and the state of Oklahoma the opportunity to continue its growing leadership role in aerospace and UAS research.

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