NASA testing urban drone safety over Corpus Christi

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Posted at 5:15 PM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 18:15:57-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP)  — NASA is flying drones over a southeast Texas city to test the safety of the unmanned devices in a dense urban environment.

The tests this month in Corpus Christi are part of a four-year project with the Federal Aviation Administration to develop a national drone traffic management system.

NASA said in an Aug. 9 news release that the drones are flying at altitudes between 200 and 400 feet. It says a city presents obstacles that can reduce line of sight and hinder communication. Urban weather conditions can hamper flight, and cities often lack safe landing options.

NASA spokesman Darryl Waller said Tuesday that the agency is gathering and reviewing data with the aim of addressing these issues.

He says the Corpus Christi testing has gone well and will conclude Friday.