Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced Thursday that Virginia Teach is to receive $1.7 million for research from the National Science Foundation.
The research will be on the use of unmanned aerial and surface vehicles to monitor air and water pollutants through toxic agent testing.
They also hope to develop an approach for emergency response and disaster recovery.
A $900,000 grant will go towards advancing the use of unmanned systems to assess environmental hazards for emergency responders. These hazards include chemicals and radioactive particles that can be in the air or water.
A $876,000 grant will support efforts to restore power and transportation grids following a disaster. Part of these efforts will help businesses and families to return to productive activities sooner following a disaster.
“First responders are already using drones to help respond to natural disasters, battle wildfires, conduct search-and-rescue, and assess environmental and infrastructure damage,” said Sen. Warner. “This funding will provide Virginia Tech with resources to further advance the use of unmanned technology in emergency response.”