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K-State Today

August 9, 2016



Research participants needed for UAS Pathfinder study

By Andi Meyer

Participants are needed for a PrecisionHawk UAS research opportunity Aug. 16-18 in Salina. If you are interested in participating, please complete the online survey by Thursday, Aug. 11. This survey intended to collect interested participants and allow follow-up communication. Participation is open to faculty, staff and students, and no aviation experience is required.

Participants can expect to spend one full day at the experiment site, receiving training on the ground control station software and UAS simulation in the morning followed by the in-field trial in the afternoon, 15 minutes outside of Salina. Participants will not be flying a UAS for this initial set of tests — although respondents with at least a private pilot's license and current FAA Class II medical can indicate if they would like to be considered for UAS training and Pilot in Command trials later in the season.

The FAA Pathfinder Initiative is a collaborative research and development effort between the FAA and industry to enable UAS operation outside of the current restrictions. Pathfinder Focus Area Two, in partnership with PrecisionHawk, is focused on understanding the factors affecting safety in Extended Visual Line of Sight operations, or EVLOS. EVLOS is defined as flight of a UAS outside the Pilot in Command's visual range but still within visual range of the pilot to ensure cognizance of the area of operation and encroaching aircraft. The Pathfinder results are expected to have a direct and near-term impact on the FAA's regulatory stance toward UAS operation in the U.S.

This research has been approved by the Kansas State University Institutional Review Board and has received approval number 8341.