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Drones/Quadcopters for Data Collection

Tips and tricks for data collection by aerial capture.


FAA requirements:
Federal law requires that all aircraft (which includes UAS and radio/remote controlled aircraft) flown outdoors must be registered with the FAA and marked with a registration number. UAS weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds may register online at by using the legacy paper based registration process. The weight limit includes everything that is on board or otherwise attached to the aircraft at the time of takeoff.
If you fly your UAS for hobby or recreational purposes and you use the web-based registration process to register your aircraft, you only need to register once and then apply your registration number to as many UAS as you want. Recreational registrants only need to provide their name, address, and email address. The $5 registration fee covers all recreational UAS owned by the registrant.

Unmanned aircraft flown for work or business must be registered individually by the owner, and each registration costs $5. Registrants must supply their name, address, and email address, in addition to the make, model, and serial number (if available) for each UAS they want to fly.


WU requirements:
WU funded drones must be registered to “Washington University” (as ‘Company’)
Drone Pilot License
(WU requirement: Drone pilots must have FAA 107 Drone Pilot Certificates)
Officially known as FAA Part 107 remote pilot certificate, the Drone Pilot License may also be called the drone license, commercial drone license, UAV certificate, and drone permit. To obtain this certificate, you will need to pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test ($150) at one of 690 FAA-approved knowledge testing centers across the United States (Please see the attached list). Like existing pilot airman certificates, the remote pilot certificate never expires. But to keep it valid, your will need to pass a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every 24 months.
To help you prepare for the test, please check out the links listed below.
FAA resources
Sporty’s Drone Study Buddy 
KingSchools' Drone Pilot Ground School and Test Prep Course
WU UAS (Drone) Policy
a. Recreational UsesThe use of Drones on or in University owned, rented or leased property and buildings by individuals for recreational purposes is strictly prohibited.
b. Non-recreational Uses, including Research, Teaching, Business Operations, and Third-Party Operations. Because of the complexity and changing nature of FAA regulations at this time, anyone planning to use an UAS on University property, or for University work not on University property, should contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, 314-362-6816,, or the Office of General Counsel, 314-935-7323,, for guidance on how to meet FAA regulatory requirements.
c. Anyone considering taking an UAS out of the United States should contact Export Control as far as possible before departure to determine potential license requirements, 314-747-1378,
d. For more information,please check out the following WU EH&S links or contact Brad King – Dir. EH&S – 314-935-9262. 
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