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Oklahoma Department of Commerce - State of Success

Pioneers of UAS research and development.

Why is that?

Oklahoma is perfectly positioned for the fast-emerging UAS industry, with its central location, ideal terrain and climate, business incentives, testing and development capabilities, training and education programs, and research and development.

Oklahoma has rapidly become a ‘fly-to’ state for research, training and education or commercial and military unmanned aerial systems.

Conditions are favorable in Oklahoma

Oklahoma offers various facilities for research and development and testing (commercial and military), including 208 acres of access to restricted airspace, with runway, hangar and control facilities.

map of UAS locations

Oklahoma UAS Quick Facts

  • 200-acre UAV-only flight operations and training facility with access to 12,192 meters of surface and 2,574 cubic kilometers of flight space Urban UAV testing facility at Chilocco (20.5 sq. km) and training site with a 708,200-sq-meter acre urban testing site for training in urban operations and radio frequency and sensor testing.
  • The Center for Aerospace and Defense Supplier Quality (CADSQ), a program of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, is the only one of its kind in the U.S. It provides free expert advice and counsel to Oklahoma aviation, aerospace and defense companies, helping them understand how to conduct business with the Department of Defense and its contractors, as well as commercial aviation enterprises.
  • Home of the Department of Homeland Security’s selected site for small UAS Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS) program, which supports first responders and Customs and Border Protection operated by the OSU University Multispectral Laboratory at Ft. Sill.
  • Collaboration with companies such as Flight Safety International, Design Intelligence Inc., Tactical Electronics Inc., Zivko Aeronautics, Atria Defense Group, and Frontier Electronics.
  • Central Rural Electric Cooperative, OSU and the National Energy Solutions Institute are developing UAS platforms, payloads and operational requirements for utility line inspections.
  • The Unmanned Systems Innovation Center (USIC) is a private industry initiative focused on the creation, sustainment and growth of regional businesses in the unmanned and autonomous systems industry sector. The USIC provides a full suite of active support including access to a multitier capital facility as well as access to collaboration within the larger aerospace industry as a part of Oklahoma’s premiere aerospace technology cluster — Tinker Business and Industrial Park (TBIP).

UAS Cluster Initiative

Manufacturers, investors, and entrepreneurs in all 77 counties of Oklahoma and 28 counties in southern Kansas are served by the UAS Cluster Initiative. The effort attracts private capital, accelerates start-ups, promotes regional research parks, and enables the sharing of best practices. Learn more at

Education & Research

  • First master’s and only doctoral degrees in UAS Aircraft Design at Oklahoma State University (OSU).
  • OSU and the University of Oklahoma (OU) collaborate with the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory to use UAS to characterize severe storms, including flying specially designed UAS into storm clouds to extract data and enable forecasters to improve predictions of tornado activity.
  • OSU operates a UAS flight station for education and training and holds multiple world records for the design of a variety of UAS.
  • OSU and Spartan College of Aeronautics & Technology (Tulsa) were ranked #2 and #14 respectively in’s ranking of best drone training colleges.
  • An agreement between OSU and the FAA will develop technologies to use UAS to test instrument landing systems (ILS) and navigation aids.
  • In August 2015 the National Science Foundation awarded OSU and three partner universities $6 million to collaboratively develop an integrated unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to improve weather forecasting through the study of atmospheric physics. The four-year grant will be shared by OSU and the universities of Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kentucky.
  • OU researchers are utilizing UAS platforms for weather and radar-related research and using UAS-based technology for applications that range from lower atmospheric monitoring and boundary layer studies to the development of innovative new sense-and-avoid technologies. The National Weather Center and OU’s new Radar Innovations Laboratory will continue to play important roles in OU’s UAS-based applications research.

Let’s Work Together

The Oklahoma Team will work with you to meet the specific needs of your project. Contact us today to get started. Call the Oklahoma Team at 800-588-5959.


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