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University of Missouri-Kansas City Receives $15 Million To Study Drone Security

Michelle Tyrene Johnson
KCUR 89.3

Buzzing outside Flarsheim Hall on the grounds of the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus Friday morning sounded like a scourge of mosquitoes.

The drone demonstration outside the School of Computing and Engineering was intended to help university leaders announce that the Department of Defense’s Office of Naval Research had awarded the university a $7.2 million grant and a $7.7 million contract to develop countermeasures to drone threats.

The funding is the largest federal amount received by UMKC for non-health related research.

It will fund 10 new graduate students and provide positions for 12 new undergraduate researchers.

The goal is to develop technology that could help reduce airspace dangers and terrorism threats caused by an increase in unmanned flying devices, which can be bought for less than $100 online and in most electronics stores.

UMKC is the lead institution on the grant, which also includes researchers at the University of Missouri and the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Dr. Anthony Caruso, UMKC assistant vice chancellor of research, said the grant matches national security needs with research the schools can provide.

Mun Y. Choi, president of the University of Missouri System, said the work is an example of how UMKC wants to make a difference to the community.

“This research reflects the commitment by UMKC to solve problems that are central to national security," Choi said.

Correction: The original version of this article did not include the amount of the research contract received along with the research grant.

KCUR is licensed to the University of Missouri Board of Curators and is an editorially independent community service of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Michelle Tyrene Johnson is KCUR 89.3's race,  identity and culture reporter. You can find her on Twitter, @DivaOfDiversity.

Michelle is a reporter covering race, identity and culture and is an assistant talk show producer.
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