Getting Started

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.

Are you a student interested in joining  the Trinity College Drone Club? Let us know here.

J-Term Drone Course

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:

Hartford from 300ft over Trinity. DJI Phantom 4 Pro

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
  • Aerial Imagery and Videography
  • Photogrammetry and Mapping

Drone Club First Meeting

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.