International Consortium of Aeronautical Test Sites (ICATS)

The Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence, in collaboration with the UAV test & service centre (CESA) (Bordeaux, France), the Oklahoma State University – University Multispectral Laboratories (Oklahoma, United States), and the the National Aeronautical Centre (Wales, United Kingdom), has created the International Consortium of Aeronautical Test Sites (ICATS).

The first international organization of its kind, the consortium will support the industry by enabling the development, testing and ultimate certification of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)/Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) to allow for their use in non-segregated airspace. This will be achieved by sharing of information on operational safety, flight regulations and, when allowed to do so, actual operational experiences. The consortium will also encourage the industry to demonstrate and prove sub-system technology that will enable the necessary international standards for future UAS/RPAS construction to be created, and will work with their respective regulatory bodies to safely develop UAS/RPAS capabilities while continuing the operational confidence building process.

The test centres will support and guide the industry in the development, operations and certification of UAS/RPAS as established by their respective regulating bodies. The centres will therefore accompany and funnel the innovation of the private sector while coordinating with government entities. The sharing of information on rules, regulations and actual test results between the test sites will consequently minimize the stovepipe approach that might otherwise prevent cross-border operations of unmanned systems. The test centres will help continue to bridge the gap between the establishment of regulations and actual operations.

The members of ICATS

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Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence (UAS CE)

The Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to develop an international centre of expertise and innovative services in the design, operations and applications of UAS. The UAS CE counts sixteen members in its ranks plus an important network of international partners.


The Oklahoma State University – University Multispectral Laboratories (OSUUML)

Government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO), the University Multispectral Laboratories (UML) is a not-for-profit trusted-agent institution operated by Cherokee Nations Research Laboraties, in exclusive partnership with Oklahoma State University and the State of Oklahoma. UML provides research, development, test, evaluation and training (RDT&E) laboratory and field facilities in support of C5ISR, cyber, UAS, energy and related missions across all federal, state, local and commercial requirements.

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Le Centre d’Essais et de Services sur les Systèmes Autonomes (CESA)

The CESA, the first French civilian UAS testing zone, is a result of collaboration between the Regional Council of Aquitaine, the State, the French civil aviation authority (DGAC) and the Ministry of Defense. Managed and operated by the Bordeaux Technowest technopole, CESA will soon allow certification and qualification of autonomous systems of less than 150 kg.


National Aeronautical Center (NAC)

The National Aeronautical Centre (NAC) is a unique location in the UK that enables the development, testing and demonstration of systems and technologies associated to the aeronautical industry. Its key feature is the world’s first area of restricted airspace designed specifically for military and civilian unmanned systems operations. This is enhanced by the facilities and organisations.

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CATUAV Tech Center

(member since June 2014)

CATUAV Tech Center (CTC) is located 45 km north of Barcelona. The Center provides excellent conditions for UAV development and testing for all companies, universities and interested individuals. These new facilities offer all you need to speed up your UAV design and test process, including especially dedicated UAV friendly airspace free of obstacles and interferences in a peaceful environment, where you can fully concentrate on your development.


Air Traffic Laboratory for Advanced Systems (ATLAS)

(member since July 2014)

ATLAS is a Flight Test Center which offers the international aerospace community an aerodrome equipped with excellent technological and scientific facilities and airspace ideally suited for the development of experimental flights with light and tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). ATLAS Center holds the first complex of buildings exclusively dedicated to safely perform tests, simulations and validation of technologies to be applied to UAS/RPAS, involving Air Traffic Management (ATM). Unique in Europe, these are the first facilities exclusively designed for testing these aircrafts, a field considered worldwide as one of the most promising in international aerospace industry.

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North Dakota Northern Plains UAS Test Site

(member since November 2014)

North Dakota is a proven leader in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) with the experience, resources and leadership to help drive the industry’s growth. The state is one of six Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) UAS Test Sites conducting research to determine how to best integrate UAS into the national airspace. North Dakota’s Northern Plains UAS Test Site represents the first site to have been certified by the FAA as ready for operations in last April 2014.

Other organizations

UAS CE is also member of numerous organisations, where it represents its members.