On this West Virginia Morning, book deserts are places without nearby libraries or bookstores, which can be very hard for children just learning to read. Morgantown High School senior Rania Zuri is trying to fight that and bring books to kids in West Virginia. Inside Appalachia’s Mason Adams spoke with her.Continue Reading Take Me to More News
Marshall University is hosting a roundtable Monday to explore the idea of Advanced Air Mobility, or drones, for transportation purposes.
Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) is the use of unmanned aircraft to transport people and equipment to urban and rural locations not accessible by traditional airplanes.
Aircraft can range in size from small cargo-carrying drones to passenger-carrying air taxis.
AAM is considered a big opportunity for Appalachia.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Appalachian communities became increasingly isolated with an interstate highway system that underserved the area. While reconnecting Appalachian communities has since improved, the region remains largely depressed in the transportation industry, in part due to its challenging terrain.
But despite its challenging geography and low population densities, West Virginia is well positioned for multi-modal transportation concepts.
Vertx Partners is helping organize the roundtable event by identifying stakeholders in the Appalachian area – an economy considered dependent on the efficient transportation of goods, people, and sensors.
The roundtable is called the Autonomous Aerial Cargo Operations at Scale CONOPS. It is a NASA University Initiative organized by University of Texas – Austin and MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Massachusetts.
Roundtable presenters include Andrew Weinert, technical staff, MIT Lincoln Laboratory and Ufuk Topcu, associate professor, University of Texas at Austin. Other speakers include Mike Graney, executive director, West Virginia Department of Economic Development; Marshall University chief aviation officer Bill Noe; Nancy Ritter, director and chief pilot at Bill Noe Flight School and West Virginia State Sen. Chandler Swope, R-Mercer County.
Participants in the roundtable will consider public concerns like noise pollution, privacy, or perceived risks of autonomous operations.
The two day event is Monday and Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bill Noe Flight School in Charleston.