Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 27, 2012

Va Tech research lab aims for the sky and sea

Staff Writer
Associated Press

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Researchers at Virginia Tech are hoping a new laboratory will help develop advanced technology for unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles.

The Blacksburg school recently celebrated the opening of the Kentland Experimental Aerial Systems Laboratory. It is being shared by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering.

The 2,000-square-foot lab will be used by students and faculty members to conduct research that will examine everything from the spread of airborne plant pathogens using unmanned aerial vehicles to the creation of more high-tech submarines.

Officials say that while military uses of unmanned vehicles for intelligence and surveillance are well documented, other applications could include land management, search and rescue, border security, disaster support, and crop biosecurity.