Drones, UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) , UASs (Unmanned Aerial System), RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft), quads, whatever you want to call them are taking off at Trinity.
Over the Summer a UAS Committee was formed to start drafting a campus drone policy which will outline how, when and where drones can be used on the Trinity College campus. We solicited feedback and input from many constituents on campus including, Campus Safety, the Dean of Students Office, Risk Management, Communications, Athletics as well as students and faculty.
The committee had to consider FAA regulations that require any commercial operations to be conducted by FAA Certified Remote Pilots, airspace considerations, insurance and liability issues, privacy and basic safety when flying on a congested urban campus. Since the Trinity Campus is located in Brainard Airport’s Controlled Class D air space no commercial flights can be allowed on campus until we receive an FAA Airspace waiver which is in process. Recreational users are permitted to fly as long as they follow published guidelines which require pilots to:
Fly at or below 400 feet
Be aware of airspace requirements and restrictions
Stay away from surrounding obstacles
Keep your UAS within sight
Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports
Never fly over groups of people
Never fly over stadiums or sports events
Never fly near emergency response efforts such as fires
Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol
In the end we hope to craft a policy that will allow students, faculty and staff to utilize drones for teaching, research, recreation and college promotional materials while ensuring operations are conducted safely and legally.
We are excited to announce that our J Term Course has been approved!
Jonathan Gourley, Senior Lecturer and Laboratory Coordinator in the Environmental Science Program, and David Tatem, Instructional Technologist, will be team teaching:
Drone Flight School – Making maps safely and responsibly with drone technology
Unmanned Arial Systems (UAS) or drones have quickly emerged as a new way to explore the world around us. Emerging applications include surveying, search and rescue, scientific research and unmanned cargo. Mapping via drones is a growing field as drone imagining technology is compatible with desktop mapping software. Responsible drone usage requires knowledge of FAA regulations especially in urban areas where local air traffic could be impacted. This hands-on course will introduce students to UAS technology and all participants will learn how to fly drones safely and responsibly. They will then use the drones and associated imaging software to construct maps on and/or Trinity College campus.
We are planning on combining classroom instruction with hands on flying and applications. We will cover topics including
UAV history, development and applications
FAA regulations and safety
Basic flight procedures and creating automated flight paths
The Trinity College Drone Club met for the first time last weekend. After an overview of the draft campus policy and a safety briefing we went out to fly.
If you are interested in drones come join us. You don’t have to own a drone, we will let you fly ours. Whether you are interested in cinematography, mapping, FPV racing or anything else drone related we’d be happy to have you. Sign up here.