Colorado State University decided to make it easier for students and staff to access drones and professional drone pilots for research by setting up the CSU Drone Center in September.
In just a couple of months, it has already assisted five different research projects at CSU, including plant and soil health. “It gives people a kind of different dimension they haven’t had access to before,” said Chris Robertson, coordinator of the CSU Drone Center.
Using drones for research is beneficial, but the FAA’s drone regulations can be confusing and become a stumbling block for educators and students who want to use them. Colorado State University in Fort Collins aims at changing for the better that with their new drone center.
The center facilitates students, faculty and staff checking out drones, getting them permission to fly drones in university airspace, getting assistance with requesting permission to fly drones in non-university airspace as well as getting them assistance with navigating the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations.
“We want to remove the barriers and promote the ability to do drone-enabled research here at CSU,” Robertson said. The center also helps students who need drone images for projects and captures images of university-related events.
The long-term goal Robertson reveals is to conduct more drone training on campus, complete with a certification program. “What we’re looking for next is getting the training piece, looking into training pilots, training people with physical skill sets, maybe even bringing some actual unmanned aircraft system classes to CSU,” Robertson said. “When people exit out of the CSU program in certain areas they can actually have some real life as well as some documented training within the UAS development.”
Flight Training and Demo days at Christman Airfield
Pre-registration is required and only licensed pilots and insured aircraft are allowed to fly. Pre-briefing meeting will be held at the Drone Center at 9:00am if you want to attend, Engineering Research Center A316. Safety Briefing will begin at 10:00am at the Christman Airfield. This is also a good day for anyone who wishes to get demo or hands on experience for the first time.
The first flight day is November 27th at 10am-2pm, with November 28th 10am-2pm as a weather alternative.