MITRE Launches Dedicated Experimentation Range for Small Uncrewed Aircraft Systems

As a pioneer of drone technology and applications for more than 20 years, MITRE opened a new facility dedicated to small uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS). Located in Orange, Va., the site serves as a proving ground for MITRE’s technologists and U.S. government sponsors to develop, test, and evaluate the newest technological advances for commercial robotics, autonomous systems, drones, and counter-drone systems.

“We take great pride in being a trusted partner for agencies in helping them select and evaluate the right UAS and C-UAS tools for their unique needs,” said Yosry Barsoum, MITRE vice president and director, Center for Securing the Homeland. “This new testing range will enable agencies and industry to work hand in hand to build safer communities.”

The opening of the range included a ribbon cutting which drew distinguished guests, including Jeffrey Vincent, executive director of the FAA’s UAS Integration Office, and Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Virginia, who represents the area in Congress.

“The Drone Range will provide a tremendous opportunity for valuable collaboration amongst government, industry, and academic researchers benefitting the drone community at large,” said Jeffrey Vincent, Executive Director, UAS Integration Office, FAA, who spoke at the opening.

“This moment marks a major milestone for Orange County, Virginia’s economy, and this technology’s promise to make America safer and stronger. As someone with a background in national security, I understand how critical — and how necessary — these technologies are for the future defense of our homeland, our communities, and our people,” said U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger. “That’s why I was proud to join MITRE leaders and local officials as we reiterated our commitment to making sure Virginia continues to lead the way in this field. I’m thrilled that MITRE has selected Orange County for this range, and it’s truly an exciting day to be a Virginian.”

MITRE has a rich history of drone innovation and public safety applications. MITRE has partnered with police, firefighters, and security and public safety organizations across the country to enable drone technology specifically tailored for the situations first responders encounter most frequently. This includes recent work with the New York Police Department to transform hazardous materials response units.

Both the Army and Navy are implementing MITRE’s groundbreaking smartphone app-controlled counter-drone solution, CARPE Dronvm, equipping soldiers and sailors with the means to swiftly report and thwart aerial threats. MITRE Engenuity, a subsidiary of MITRE, has researched the benefits of wide-area 5G cellular network architectures on UAS, specifically those intended to operate beyond visual line of sight. Engenuity is also actively developing a training program for first responders on how to safely, effectively, and efficiently conduct drone operations.

“Our team of experts works tirelessly to ensure our drone solutions are not only cutting-edge but also user-friendly, allowing agencies to harness the full potential of uncrewed aerial systems,” said Steve King, MITRE, senior manager.


MITRE’s mission-driven teams are dedicated to solving problems for a safer world. Through our public-private partnerships and as an operator of federally funded R&D centers, we work across government and in partnership with industry to tackle challenges to the safety, stability, and well-being of our nation. Learn more at

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