PENDLETON – The Pendleton UAS Test Range is involved in thousands of operations a year as companies come to work on potential products. Range Manager Darryl Abling says there’s no one thing that the developers of the unmanned aircraft systems do in Pendleton.
“People are here doing research and development test and evaluation,” Abling said. “They’re doing operational test and evaluation. They’re doing sensor development, air frame development, and propulsion system development. It crosses the spectrum.”
Operations Manager Eric Smidt says the one thing the companies are not doing is spying on area residents.
“The UAVs are not out here to look into your private property,” Smidt said. “They’re just out here to test their flight qualities or do flight training. The other thing is they’re not using lasers around here. They’re out here to test their product and get it to market. They’re not here to look at you as an individual.”
“Another myth is what you see on television where somebody whips out their laptop in their car and they start typing away and they capture the drone and they steal it and they make it go do nefarious things,” he said. “Those things don’t happen.”