Indiana State University Newsroom

New partnership to boost unmanned systems research, pilot testing

November 24, 2015


Indiana State University and Raleigh, N.C.-based PrecisionHawk have signed a research and development partnership that aims to advance the unmanned aerial systems industry from multidisciplinary perspectives. The university-business collaboration will focus on safety, education, training and algorithm development for PrecisionHawk's DataMapper aerial data software.

"PrecisionHawk is a strategic partner for Indiana State," said Robert English, dean of Indiana State's College of Technology. "Together we make a strong team in research and development of flight crew training, UAS applications, and data analysis. We see this collaboration as a foundation for the future of our students, the state of Indiana and the nation."

Patrick Lohman, vice president of partnerships at PrecisionHawk, said the company has a longstanding relationship with Indiana State that "creates the perfect environment to explore the next frontier in aviation and beyond line of sight unmanned vehicle operations. PrecisionHawk is fortunate to boast a number of ISU alumni on its team, and we look forward to enhanced collaboration around our data and safety initiatives."

The partnership will explore and pursue the following areas:

• Airspace deconfliction• Advanced mission planning algorithm development• Environmental monitoring• Opportunities within PrecisionHawk safety initiatives, including LATAS, its low altitude traffic and airspace service platform. • Development of analytics clusters and full-spectrum analytics support

"Indiana State is proud to be stepping forward with PrecisionHawk in this partnership to further the applications of unmanned systems," said Richard Baker, associate professor and chair of the aviation technology department and director of the university's unmanned systems initiative. "We will work to strategically address issues across the entire spectrum of data collection, analytics, and safety for unmanned aerial systems."

The university will provide access to airspace, indoor flight facilities, unmanned aerial vehicles and flight crews. PrecisionHawk will provide access to its software platform, DataMapper, algorithm licenses, desktop orthomosaic processing and the ability to test its safety services platform, LATAS.

PrecisionHawk is a terrestrial data acquisition and analysis company founded in 2010. The company provides an end-to-end platform using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for data collection and analysis, software tools to provide better business intelligence to clients across a wide range of civilian industries. PrecisionHawk also owns drone data software, DataMapper, satellite imagery provider, Terraserver, and the Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety platform, LATAS. PrecisionHawk currently holds a contract with the FAA to test technology solutions for drone flight outside line of site. A privately held company PrecisionHawk's investors include Intel Capital, Millennium Technology Value Partners, Bob Young, and Indiana University's Innovate Indiana Fund. More information about PrecisionHawk can be found at or on Twitter @PrecisionHawk.


Contact: Richard Baker, professor and chair, aviation technology department and director, unmanned systems initiative, College of Technology, Indiana State University, 812-237-2641 (office), 812-249-9188 (cell) or

Media contact: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or