breaking news

Springfield man accused of whipping pregnant woman with belt

Clark State, Springfield open new drone research hangar at airport


The Springfield Beckley-Municipal Airport now has a new hangar for unmanned aircraft and precision agriculture.

The new hangar, the Clark State-Ohio Center for Precision Agriculture, is a part of a $1.2 million project to build 10 new hangars at the airport. It will be used for precision agriculture, which uses technology such as drones, GPS and other sensors to improve farming efficiency.

RELATEDSpringfield adds $1.2M new hangars at municipal airport

The agriculture and food industry is estimated to contribute $105 billion to the state’s economy, according to the Ohio Farm Bureau.

Clark State Community College works with unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturer SelectTech Geospatial, which is also based at the airport. The technology gives farmers immediate data, said Frank Beafore, executive director of SelectTech.

“So they can judge whether or not they are going to have crop failure, judge the amount of crop yield they got,” he said.

RELATEDSpringfield Airport tapped to test new drone technology

The community college and city worked together on the project. The city received money to build the hangar from the state and has a joint use agreement with Clark State. The hangar will be used for drone projects and has a state-of-the-art computer lab.

The space will also be used for students to pass their Federal Aviation Administration Part 107 license and review FAA regulations and airspace requirements, along with other aerial operations.

“Clark State has one of the most extensive and long-standing agriculture offerings found at any community college in Ohio,” President Jo Alice Blondin said in a statement. “Clark State has developed the region’s only for-credit degree program in precision agriculture — one that provides students not only with classroom-based learning but with hands-on technical training at the Airpark Ohio UAS test range, located at the Springfield Municipal Airport.”

The program is in its fourth year of operation at the community college. It currently uses quad-copters to survey damage, SelectTech Geospatial Systems Engineer Jade Lowery said.

“Obviously lightweight is important, strong is important but the idea is to make it easy for the user who is going to be doing these missions,” Lowery said.

The unmanned aircraft offer many opportunities to the agricultural industry, he said, like lowering the environment impact.

“We’re able to measure a crop and find out a smaller area’s disease,” Lowery said. “We will be able to treat that smaller area, therefore using less insecticide and less impact on the groundwater as well. Whether we have chlorophyll, not enough chlorophyll, have water, not enough water.”

The technology isn’t in wide use by farmers yet, Lowery said, but he believes once they see the advantage, they will embrace it. Australia and Japan have been using precision agriculture for the past 10 years, he said, and have been successful.

The hangar is the latest improvement at the airport, including the development of a new master plan. Spectra Jet, an aircraft repair and maintenance firm, also has begun work on a potential $3.5 million investment to build additional ramp space and expand a hangar at the business.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Japanese national broadcaster issues false North Korea missile alert
Japanese national broadcaster issues false North Korea missile alert

Japan's national public broadcaster issued a false alert about a North Korean missile launch Tuesday, just three days after Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency sent a false missile alert.  According to CNN, NHK sent a message to users of its phone app that said, "NHK news alert. North Korea likely to have launched missile. The government...
West Liberty still healing 1 year after school shooting
West Liberty still healing 1 year after school shooting

Saturday will mark one year since a gunman opened fire inside West Liberty-Salem High School, rocking the small community where many thought something so violent could never happen. “I was in disbelief,” said Jacob King, whose wife owns a store on Detroit Street — the main road through the village of less than 2,000 people. &ldquo...
Police: 13 siblings held captive in California residence
Police: 13 siblings held captive in California residence

A California couple was arrested Sunday after 13 siblings, ranging in age from 2 to 29, were allegedly held captive in a home, with several children “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said Monday. In a news release, the Sheriff&rsquo...
Springfield schools expands $6.3M tech program to youngest students
Springfield schools expands $6.3M tech program to youngest students

The Springfield City School District is set to expand its one-to-one technology initiative to some of its youngest students in February. Beginning Feb. 5 and through Feb. 23, kindergarten through second-grade students across the district will begin to receive their own laptop. The cost of the expansion is more than $864,000. The overall one-to-one...
4 law enforcement officers shot in South Carolina; suspect in custody
4 law enforcement officers shot in South Carolina; suspect in custody

WSOC-TV is following breaking news in York County, South Carolina, where officials said four law enforcement officers were shot overnight. >> Read more trending news 
More Stories