Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), AKA drones
August 15, 2016
- This report is based on a DVD “Drones on Campus. UAS Issues for the Higher Education Community” of February 2, 2016. The DVD contains a PDF file and flattened media file with a voice-narrated PPT based on the information from the PDF.
- The report takes into consideration the opulence of materials gathered during the last 4-5 years in the IMS blog: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=drones
Narrative / synopsis:
The DVD is a commercial product for sale for the Higher Ed. It is the recoding of a commercial seminar for Higher Ed, led by a lawyer (Lisa Ellman, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter handle @leelellman) from the legal practice Hogan Lovells and by employee from FAA.
The information below represents the main points from the PDF / PPT presentation, as well as additional information with clarifications, which I added while working with the PDF and PPT files.
- How and when UAS can be approved for flying at SCSU
- The effect on SCSU of the domestic UAS legal framework
- Protection against rogue drones on campus
- Policymaking around UAS
FAA Modernization and Reform Act (P.L. 112-095) Reports and Plans Integration of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) Roadmap https://www.faa.gov/about/plans_reports/modernization/media/Sec.332(a).pdf
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Comprehensive Plan (Section 332 (a)(5))
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Privacy Requirements (Section 332 (a)(5))
section 333 exemptions
Small UAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
The term “unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft and associated elements (including communication links and components that control the unmanned aircraft) that are required for the pilot in command to operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system.
Federal Gov’t UAS Policymaking. FAA Reauthorization Act of 2012, FAA Rulemaking process, Federal Interagency Process, Agency-Specific Processes
- Model aircraft
- Public – UAS owned and operated by government agencies and organizations, such as public university
a public COA (certificate of waiver of authorization) is issued by the FAA to a public agency/organization for public aircraft operations
most aspects of public aircraft operations are not subject to FAA oversight
If we are a public university… can we operate UAS under a public COA?
in order to operate under a public COA< the UAS must be operated by the university for a “core governmental function, which is defined as:
“… and activity undertaken by a government, such as national defense, intelligence missions, firefighting, search and rescue, law enforcement (including transport of prisoners, detainees, and illegal aliens), aeronautical research, or biological or geological resource management.
In an FAA Office, it was clarified that “aeronautical research” must be focused on the development and testing of the UAS itself, rather than the thing being observed and monitored using the UAS.
- Any private sector (non-governmental) operation of a drone for purposes other than recreation or hobby is considered a “civil” operation
- This category covers all commercial use of UAS, including use by private universities and colleges
Summary Grant Exemption / Blanket COA conditions and COA conditions and limitations:
- Below 200 feet
- Within visual line-of-sight of the pilot and visual observer
- At least 500 feet from nonparticipating persons, vessels, vehicles, or structures, unless certain conditions met
- Over private or controlled access property with consent
- Visual observer required
- Pilot must have an FAA issues pilot certificate and a medical certificate or DL
- Mussed give a way to all manned aircraft
SCSU must apply for section 333 exemption – FAA has granted 3.129 out of 4500 applications. FAA current goal: 50+ exemption grants per week
QA regarding exemption / blanket COA requirements
Small UAS Rule: June 2016 (IMS blog)
- Must be < 55 lbs
- Max altitude speed 500 feet / 100 mph
- Minimum visibility 3 miles
- UAS always yield right-of-way to other aircraft
- UAS cannot be operated recklessly
- Registration and marking required
- Hobbyist operators: December 21, 2015
- All UAS >.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds must be registered either using the new online system or the FAAs existing paper-based registration system before the UAS can be operated outdoors
- UAS within that right range purchased prior to December 21, 2015 must be registered by February 19, 2016
- Hobbies required to submit basic contact info, such as name, address email. Costs $5 to register hobbyist owner’s entire fleet of UAS. The FAA will issue a single CAR (certificate of aircraft registration) with one registration number that can be used for and should be put on each UAS. Every 3 years, renewal.
Boggs v Meredith. How high do airspace rights extend over private property
- Up to 83 feet in the air
- Other legal liability issues:
Mitigating UAS Legal Liabilities
- When hiring a UAS server provider
- Seek to shift and limit liability through contract
- Vendors operating UAS on university property should sing a written agreement
- Ensure the UAS service provider has adequate insurance
- When selecting a UAS model:
- Consider safety features
- Recall and landing functions
- Geo-fencing http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/geofencing
- Engine and propeller shutoff
Who is in charge
- University should have a UAS operations manual with policies and procedures
- Permission to fly on campus (who, how and when)
- UAS operation, maintenance and inspection procedures
- Emergency procedures, accident / incident notification, reporting
- FAA recordkeeping requirements
- UAS flight activity (when, where, duration)
- Incidents/accidents involving personal injury or property damage
- Lost-link events (AKA fly-aways)
- UAS maintenance and inspection
- UAS flight crew training / qualifications
- Participant / property owner consent
- Faculty/staff/student qualifications and training
- Privacy policies, data management, retention
- Consent and notification requirements for operating near people and structures
Outline of immediate tasks:
Based on the information above:
- SCSU, LRS in particular, must decide what drone’s certificate to apply for: a. model; b. public; c.civil; or d. hobbies
- After selection of certificate type, SCSU, LRS in particular, must register the drone[s].
- SCSU, LRS in particular, must develop policies for service, operation and maintenance.
- SCSU, LRS in particular, must assign person[s] in charge of the training, maintenance and operation.
Suggestions and recommendations:
- Hosting a drone in the library.
If to adhere to the ALA call for the librarians to be the forefront of technology on campus, LRS can use the drone purchased in April 2014 to train and lend the drone for research on campus.
If LRS continues the policy of the previous dean, further suggestions below can be waved off.
- Training, maintenance and operation
Shall LRS keep the drone, the best person to conduct the training and service of the drone will be an IMS faculty. As per email correspondence attached below, please have again the rational:
– hosting the drone with Circulation (staff) does not provide the adequate academic/research services. It is expected that the foremost users will be faculty, students and then staff and the foremost use will be academic and then leisure activities. While IMS faculty can meet the “leisure activities” for all three constituency, as it has been provided by the Circulation staff until this point, the IMS faculty can also provide the research and academic service, which Circulation staff is not educated neither trained for. With that said, the point made is not against staff not participating in the effort to train and service campus with the drone; it just makes the point that charging staff with that task is limited and against the best interest of the faculty and students on campus.
– blocking the effort of IMS faculty to lead technology-oriented services on campus, LRS in particular.
Upon hiring of a “technology” librarian, previous dean Mark Vargas blocked any technology-related activities by IMS faculty: e.g. 3d printer AKA makerspace, gaming and gamification, drones, etc.
If I am to understand well, the “technology” librarian’s charge must be toward automated library systems and similar, rather than educational use of multimedia and interactivity. Blocking IMS faculty to do what they do best by freezing any of their efforts and reserving “technology” for [unknown] future leadership of the “technology” librarian is a waste of IMS faculty expertise and knowledge.
Gaming and Gamification (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/03/19/recommendations-for-games-and-gaming-at-lrs/) charge by previous dean Mark Vargas to the first-year “technology” librarian revealed as obvious that giving the preference to junior faculty to “lead” an effort can become a dangerous tool in the hands of the administration to manipulate and slow down efforts of educational trends of time-sensitive character. While, as from the beginning, the collaboration of the “technology” librarian has been welcomed and appreciated, it does not make sense from any cultural or institutional perspective, to put in charge a new faculty, who does not have the knowledge and networking of the campus, less the experience and knowledge with multimedia and interactive tools as the rest of the seasoned IMS faculty. Decision and consequent refusal of the “technology” librarian to work with the IMS faculty did not contribute to improvement of the situation.
A very important point, which goes against the “consensus” efforts of the previous dean, is the fact that now the library faculty is using the newly-hired “technology” librarian to hinder further the integration of the IMS faculty as part of LRS by using her as a focal point for any technology initiative in LRS, thus further excluding the IMS faculty from LRS activities. It will help: 1. delineate the expertise parameters of the “technology” librarian and 2. have the librarian faculty think about their work with the IMS faculty, which has been a thorny issue for more than 10 years now (pretty much since the hire of the bulk of the reference librarians).
If there are questions, or the need of more information, please do not hesitate to request.
Plamen Miltenoff, Ph.D., MLIS
From: Miltenoff, Plamen
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 9:44 AM
To: Banaian, King <email@example.com>
Subject: request to release the library drone
My name is Plamen Miltenoff and I am faculty with the InforMedia Services of the SCSU Library. I have worked in the last 15+ years with faculty, students and staff on educational technology and instructional design. I hold two doctoral degrees in education and four master’s degrees in history and Library and Information Science.
I have extensive background in new educational technologies, which is amply reflected in the following blog: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/. Shall more proof of my abilities is needed, here is detailed information about publications, presentations and projects, which I have accomplished: http://web.stcloudstate.edu/pmiltenoff/faculty/
In the spring of 2014, Mark Vargas purchased a drone. As per my job description and long experience working with faculty across campus with other technologies, I immediately alerted SCSU faculty who have strong interest in applying drone’s technology in their studies, research and teaching, assuming that the newly-appointed library director (Mark Vargas) will support my years-long efforts.
Due to complications with FAA regulations the drones across the country were grounded.
Mark Vargas “stationed” it with the library Access Services, a unit, which is comprised of staff only. When I approached the library staff from Access Services, they chose to not collaborate with me, but rather deflect me to Mark Vargas.
As per my email to Mark Vargas of July 21, 2015 (attachment 1), I requested an explanation and shared my feeling that SCSU faculty are being left in disadvantage after I witness the drone being used. I also asked my immediate supervisor Mark Vargas about the policies and release conditions. Unfortunately, my repeated requests remained unanswered.
As of yesterday, FAA has finally released the last version of the regulations:
Here is extensive information on how drones can be used in education, which I collected through the years: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=drones
I am turning to you as the appointed administrator-in-charge of the library (attachment 2), with the request that you share the amounted paperwork regarding the drone. Mark Vargas did not share that information, despite numerous requests, e.g., if the drone is registered, etc.
I am seeking your administrative approval to pursue the completion of the paperwork and secure immediate usability of the drone, so it is available also to all interested SCSU faculty with or without my participation (as per regulations). The request is timely, since such technologies are aging quickly. Besides the depreciation of the technology, SCSU students and faculty deserves being kept with the times and explore a technology, which is rapidly becoming a mainstream, rather than novelty.
Please consider that I am the only library member with terminal degrees in education as well as extensive experience with technologies in general and educational technologies in particular. I am also the only library member with extensive network among faculty across campus. I am perceived by colleagues across campus more often as a peer, collaborator and research partner, then merely a service provider, as most of the library staff and faculty consider themselves. I am the only library member, who sits on theses and doctoral committees and the invitations to these committees are greatly based on my experience in educational technologies and my research and publishing skills. Leaving the drone in the Access Services, as appointed by the previous administrator, will result in a dormancy of technology as it has happened with numerous other technologies on this campus. It is a waste of equipment, which this university cannot afford in the respective financial times. Letting me take the lead of the drone project will secure active promotion and better application of this technology and possibly other venues (e.g. grants) to pursue further endeavors.
Thank you and looking forward to your approval.
Plamen Miltenoff, Ph.D., MLIS
From: Miltenoff, Plamen
Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 5:09 PM
To: Vargas, Mark A. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Quinlan, Jennifer M. <email@example.com>; Prescott, Melissa K. <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Hergert, Thomas R. <email@example.com>
Subject: LRS drones
Last week LRS staff was handling the LRS drones.
Did I miss email correspondence informing about the change in regulations? If so, I would like to have a copy of it.
If not, I would like to know your rational for your selective choice releasing this technology.
Per the IMS blog:
and direct oral and written communication with you, I have expressed strong academic interest in research of this technology for educational purposes. I have the educational background and experience for the aforementioned request.
I am asking you for access to this technology since early summer of 2014.
I would like to be informed what your plan for this technology is and when it will be open to the LRS faculty. I also would like to know when preference to LRS staff is given when technology is concerned, so I can plan accordingly.
Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Plamen Miltenoff, Ph.D., MLIS
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Vaidya, Ashish K.
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2016 2:08 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Subject: [LRS_l] Interim Leadership for LRS
Dear LRS Faculty and Staff,
As you are aware, Mark Vargas has submitted his resignation as Dean of Learning Resources Services. Mark’s last day on campus was Friday, June 10, 2016.
I want to assure you that any decision about interim leadership will be made after careful consideration of the needs of the Library and the University. I will continue conversations with various individuals, including the President, to ensure we have strategic alignment in both support and oversight for LRS. LRS is committed to providing excellent services to our students, faculty, and staff, creating opportunities for knowledge, and serving the public good. I look forward to working together with you to accomplish these goals.
I expect to identify an interim dean shortly and to begin a national search this fall with an appointment to begin July 1, 2017. I have asked Greta to schedule a time for me to visit with faculty and staff in Learning Resource Service next week. In the meantime, Dean King Banaian will serve as the administrator-in-charge of LRS until June 30, 2016.