|There is a growing need for research, development, and training programs for operators of small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (sUAV). We are focusing our expertise with Radio Controlled Model Aircraft and UAVs to assist non-profits, public safety agencies, emergency and disaster relief activities, and search and rescue organizations.|
|In 2015 we filed a Petition, Docket # FAA-2015-1719-0001, with the Federal Aviation Administration for excemption from a number of current regulations regarding sUAVs. This Section 333 Exemptions, was granted on 5 Jan 2016. It permits us to conduct commercial operations of small UAVs. We have asked for exceptions which will enable us to conduct a flight training school for sUAVs, to conduct research and development, aerial photography, and to assist first responders with search and rescue and disaster relief.|
|For the last year we have been working on a competency based curriculum for sUAV operators that will train them to fly safely and successfully. Our plan is to structure several training packages which will contain online interactive learning tools to develop aviation knowledge, online sUAV simulators to develop piloting skills and abilities, and hands-on flight training to perfect flying skills. It is our intention to offer this training at cost for local schools, Civil Air Patrol units, and first responders.|
The following chart depicts the restricted recreational flying areas in Columbia County with red circles. As can be seen, the Vreeland Institute campus, which is in Austerlitz, NY, is in an area free of restrictions.
The Raven RC Model makes for a stable lightweight fixed wing trainer, and provides good capabilities for reconnaissance and other operations. Its form factor is the same as the Army's RQ-11 drone. We will use open source Ardupilot software and hardware for flight control and a high res downward pointing camera.
The Parrot Bebop makes for a highly capable, yet lightweight, quadcopter for training and aerial survey and high definition aerial photography. It has a unique image stabilization capability which makes it a very high quality photography platform. It uses GPS for navigation, communicates using Wifi and employs standard open protocols.
Participants in our training programs will receive their own small UAV and will use it as their primary flight trainer. The primary trainer has a digital camera attached and excellent gyro control to accelerate training. Participants will be able to take the sUAV home at the conclusion of their training.