AIKEN, S.C. – The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Program received the Department of Energy (DOE) UAS Program Aviation Safety Award for the third consecutive year.
The award, given by the DOE Office of Aviation Management, recognizes excellence in management, operations, maintenance, training, safety and best practices. Nominations of UAS teams were reviewed and judged by an external, independent panel consisting of subject-matter experts from the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Defense and civil aviation.
“The UAS Program is an integral part of our Global Security Directorate,” said Associate Lab Director Tammy Taylor, Ph.D. “The UAS Program supports many collaborative partnerships with our sponsorsthat help us meet our national and energy security missions.”
The SRNL UAS team consists of a program manager, operations manager, an aviation safety officer, six FAA Part 107 certified pilots, and a trusted operator program level 2 remote pilot. Another individual serves as ground control support and as a visual observer. The SRNL UAS Program currently has 20 UAS aircraft (rotary and fixed-wing) in its fleet and the team works closely with the DOE-Savannah River Site aviation manager and safety officer to plan and conduct on-site missions under an approved flight readiness review board. Mark Spurlock, DOE-Savannah River Site aviation manager also received a 2022 DOE Annual Safety Award for Best Aviation Manager.
The DOE-Savannah River Operations Office provides daily oversight and policy direction for the SRS Aviation Program, including the SRNL UAS program. “As aviation manager, Mark’s leadership and contribution to the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of the SRS Aviation Program has been instrumental in distinguishing its safety record and outstanding performance as a benchmark in the DOE Complex,” said Ron Bartholomew, DOE-SR director of the Office of Safeguards, Security and Emergency Services.
The SRNL UAS Program was created in 2017 and provides support to SRNL, the Savannah River Site and its various tenants, the Armed Forces, U.S. Government, law enforcement, and the intelligence community. The UAS Program also supports emergency response, as necessary, to SRS and the local community. For more information about the SRNL UAS Program, visit https://www.srs.gov/general/srnl/factsheets_2023/UAS_rev102622.pdf.
Savannah River National Laboratory is a United States Department of Energy multi-program research and development center that’s managed and operated by Battelle Savannah River Alliance, LLC (BSRA). SRNL puts science to work to protect the nation by providing practical, cost-effective solutions to the nation’s environmental, nuclear security, nuclear materials management, and energy manufacturing challenges (https://srnl.doe.gov/).