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Russia’s First Drone Test Site Opening Postponed to Next Year

The launch of Russia’s first drone testing site has been postponed until next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state-backed RIA news agency revealed, citing a senior official.

Anton Tretyak, head of the Polygon BAS project tasked to create digital and flight ranges for drone testing, told the outlet that the launch has been deferred by three months to next February. 

According to Tretyak, the site — located near the Orlovka airfield 160 kilometers (99 miles) from Moscow — will help drone developers conduct a range of test flights, from technology demonstration to certification. A flight test center is also being constructed in a separate area.

Test Site Features

RIA wrote that the test site’s digital platform is equipped with trajectory measurement, test monitoring, and meteorological systems to assess a drone’s compliance with airworthiness standards. A “flying laboratory” will accompany the test drones in flight, recording their “state” and meteorological conditions.

The site will contain separate workstations with drone monitoring and control equipment. It will also have meeting rooms for test teams and flight management.

The country will establish more drone test sites after the maiden inauguration next year, increasing drone use authorization. According to an estimate, around 40 drones will need to be certified between 2020 and 2025.

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