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Center of Excellence for Unmanned and Autonomous Systems


Building upon the foundation of Washington’s network of industry-sector Centers of Excellence, the new Center of Excellence for Unmanned and Autonomous Systems (COE UAS) strives to build capacity in the rapid growing UAS operation that holds the potential to impact numerous regions and industries.

The COE’s reputation to convene, problem solve, and disseminate promotes the economic growth of unmanned and autonomous systems by building a sector partnership with industry in order to enhance work-based learning opportunities and career engagement with our community.

Six people holding a large unmanned drone aircraft.

Program Highlights


The Newest on the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018

Tom Hagen, past president of AUVSI’s Cascade Chapter and owner of the consultancy, Enterprise Initiatives, recently gave a presentation revealing detail around the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. This information is critical to anyone flying drones, unmanned and autonomous systems or vehicles (UAS/UAV) in Washington.


Current Drone Applications and Activity in Washington

Pilots flying drones generally fly within an operational or planned mission. There are many types of missions in Washington state that are impacting our economy, educational systems, and how work is done. Here are some samples regarding unmanned system missions used statewide with insights from Tom Hagen, a resident expert on unmanned system activities in the state.


Promoting drone tech training

H.R. 302 directs the U.S. Transportation Department, in consultation with the U.S. Education and Labor departments, to establish a process for designating consortia of public two-year institutions of higher education as Community and Technical College Centers of Excellence in Small Unmanned Aircraft System Technology.


“Washington is becoming one of the nation’s centers of research, development and commercialization of drone tech, with dozens of companies actively involved in it. The result: An explosion of R&D and commercialization…”

—Virgin, Bill. “The Drone Economy.” Seattle Business Magazine Jan. 2017: 22-26. Print.




The Center of Excellence for Unmanned and Autonomous Systems serves the entire state of Washington. We partner with these organizations and many others to support students, workers, and businesses in the unmanned and autonomous systems industry.