Drone approved to map area terrain

Wright State researchers, Springfield test center part of agreement.

Wright State Research Institute will partner with a commercial firm to fly a drone to map terrain in a Wilmington Air Park test range, according to a WSRI researcher.

The Federal Aviation Administration gave permission to WSRI to fly the eBee drone with 3D Aerial Solutions in Dayton, said Bruce Preiss, WSRI lead research engineer.

The FAA Certification of Authorization marks the first time Wright State has had permission to fly a commercial drone, he said.

“We see a lot of growth in the commercial market,” he said.

The flights will use a process known as photogrammetry, a series of two-dimensional photographs that create a 3D image.

The Ohio/Indiana UAS Center and Test Complex in Springfield will use the data to virtually fly unmanned aerial vehicles, Preiss said.

The first flight was tentatively set for launch Oct. 27.

The institute has an unmanned aerial vehicle flight test partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Wright State wants to build on the expertise gained working with AFRL “and try and build on more of the commercial market,” he said.

“That’s where a lot of the developers are right now for the smaller vehicles,” he said.

Wright State also has asked the FAA for permission to fly a UAV above the National Center for Medical Readiness, or Calamityville, in Fairborn. A decision is pending, he said.

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