In Alaska, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have garnered much attention, largely due to ongoing research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). This research has focused on a multitude of civilian applications suitable for support by the technology. UAF has long held an advantage in this competitive research by virtue of its status as a non-profit research institution, a requirement for approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate UAS. In addition, UAF has a long history in this field, managing airspace since the 1960's as part of its duties as the only university-operated rocket range in the world. These factors have led many commercial entities to partner with UAF to conduct UAS research over the years.

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