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K-State Today

July 14, 2016

Research participants needed for unmanned aerial system Pathfinder study

Submitted by Andi Meyer

Participants are needed for a PrecisionHawk unmanned aerial system research opportunity July 20-21 in Salina. This research has been approved by the Kansas State University Institutional Review Board and has received approval number 8341.

Participants can expect to spend one full day at the experiment site, receiving training on the ground control station software and unmanned aerial system 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.

If you are interested in participating, please complete this survey by Friday, July 15, and indicate your interest in the questionnaire. The survey is intended to collect interested participants and allow follow-up communication. Participation is open to faculty, students and staff. No aviation experience is required.

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.