…Five, four, three, two, one—Fire!

A familiar call heard countless times at Orbital ATK to test-fire stationary rocket motors, 2015-10-14 11.32.13however this time the result was an actual launch—but of a bird of a different breed: an unmanned aerial system (UAS).   On October 14, 2015, the Box Elder County Economic Development and Orbital ATK hosted government officials and industry participants to an event showcasing the first flight at the Utah Unmanned Aerial Systems Test Center (UASUtah).  Situated approximately 30 miles west of Brigham City, Utah, the center is a pioneer in the quickly emerging UAS industry.

2015-10-14 10.53.31UASUtah provides test/training grounds and other resources for public and private UAS operations.  In addition to a 4,500-foot asphalt airstrip, the center’s facility offers a 1,300 square foot building with full utilities, including high-speed internet, providing office, work, and conference space where test flights can also be monitored on a large flat screen TV. With around-the-clock security and emergency services available, the accessible, yet perfectly remote, the center is a foundational piece of Utah’s UAS industry.



2015-10-14 12.57.33 A culmination of extensive planning and execution,  Box Elder County, the state of Utah, Utah State University, and Orbital ATK have made an exceptional resource out of a collective vision.  Showcasing this unique public-private partnership, the historic flight and opening of UASUtah, is an important step forward for the promising industry.  2015-10-14 11.12.06Positioned to add great value to UAS operators and industry participants, the center will continue assisting public entities with their UAS integration by guiding the entities through the federal and state regulatory framework.  The center will also support industry with expertise, dedicated testing facilities, and open airspace.

We appreciate all of the individuals who attended the  first flight, including: the Box Elder Commission, members of the Utah State House of Representatives, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, law enforcement representatives, industry participants, Utah State University’s Aggie Air team, Orbital ATK, and many others.

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