Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones, provide a significant opportunity for many areas of research at North Dakota State University. Opportunities exist for technology-based research in such areas as airframe design, flight controls, propulsion systems, power management, and sensor payloads, to name a few. Other types of research are focused on the countless numbers of applications for the technology. These include agriculture production, transportation infrastructure monitoring, public utility inspections, land surveying, construction, plant and wildlife surveys along with many others.
Research flights involving UAS are conducted in one of two ways:
- As a Civil Aircraft Operation under the 14 CFR Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft System Rules that went into effect August 29, 2016.
- As a Public Aircraft Operation through the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Certificate of Authorization (COA) process.
University employees and students cannot operate unmanned aircraft under model aircraft (hobbyist) rules for research activities. Model aircraft operations can only be conducted for hobby and recreational purposes.