Embry-Riddle Consumer Guide to sUAS for Novices

2016-06-17

Embry-Riddle Consumer Guide to sUAS for Novices
A research team at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus has created the first-ever comprehensive consumer guide to small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) for novice users–those individuals interested in purchasing their first small remote controlled or autonomous multi-rotor flying aircraft.

Embry-Riddle Worldwide professors, experts in the UAS profession, collaborated with Worldwide and Daytona Beach Campusundergraduate teams to conduct dozen of separate quantitative and qualitative measurements on 12 readily available sUAS platforms. All aircraft tested cost under $3,500, had electric motors with removable batteries, could carry or had built-in HD cameras and weighed less than 7.5 pounds with payload.

The Embry-Riddle sUAS Consumer Guide will be useful to a wide variety of users, not just novices, so they can evaluate options for purchase, appropriate to their skill and experience levels, while introducing them to key measurements for future comparison when purchasing a sUAS.

“Our hope is that novices and experienced operators alike will use this free resource to examine critical features and capabilities inherent to the safe and responsible use of sUAS technology,” said Dr. Brent Terwilliger, Worldwide Program Chair of the Masters of Science in Unmanned Systems degree in the College of Aeronautics.

In addition to the product reviews and final rankings, the guide provides users with a picture of overall and relative performance, quality of construction, ease of operation, cost, accuracy of advertised capability, and user support. The team also prepared a detailed Operational Test Plan document, which was used to identify, evaluate, and record critical safety and operational details of the testing. This document is also being shared with the public to serve as a starting point for novice operators to use in their own planning activities.

While the FAA has vigorously promoted safety and responsible operation, they alone cannot reach new sUAS pilots. By providing educational information to inexperienced (novice) operators through its consumer guide, Embry-Riddle can help increase awareness, while connecting fledgling pilots to critical resources and assistance so they become responsible, informed and engaged stakeholders in the aviation community a critical factor in public safety as these aircraft are integrated into the National Airspace System (NAS).

We want new users to operate these aircraft safely and within the law, said Terwilliger. Its why we also offer programs like free online classes, UAS workshops and accessible sponsored research, plus actively promote industry public service campaigns like Know Before You Fly.



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