National Public Radio Science Friday – Tips and Hacks for Navigating Recreational Drones – July 24, 2015

I’ve listened to Science Friday, with Ira Flatow, for many years. Its become a pleasant TGIF reminder, not to mention informative and fun. So it was with great pleasure that I got to train Ira earlier in the week with a Phantom 3 in their Midtown Manhattan office and later appeared live on-air to discuss his impressions and talk further about the growth of the drone market, their uses in education, and other drone related topics.

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Blog Talk Radio – The drones are coming part 2 June 23, 2015

Scrub to 8:43 to listen to my segment.

In light of proposed legislation in NJ and other states, I make a clear case as to why the proposed legislation is over-reaching and unnecessary.


FAA NPRM Conference Call February 15, 2015 – Notes


For those that were unable to get through to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making Conference Call, here is a summary and impressions:

FAA will create a new class of license for sUAS, there will be no medical examination requirement.

The test will be a written proficiency exam and testing will take place in multiple convenient locations. Licensed pilots will be required to take this test in addition to prior certifications.

In this class of 55 lbs and under there will be no airworthiness certification required. The FAA realizes the time it takes to go through airworthiness procedures and it would be too long based on current technology advancement rates.

There will be safety parameters indicated and all vehicles must operate with them. This is unclear as to whether this means a mandatory lost link Return To Home feature and/or other failsafe mechanisms.

The speaker addresses the 2 kilo/4.4 lb Micro sUAS Proposal and welcomes commentary. Insofar as the NPRM addresses most of the micro UAS class in this sweeping proposal of rulemaking, I would say that the remaining tasks of the micro UAS Proposal would revolve around beyond Line of Sight, First Person View restriction.

The question was asked as to how long before the NPRM would be adopted in some way. A timeline was not offered but we have at least 60 days to respond in writing. It is my knowledge that our/your response is desired but not in the manner of a form letter. When responding, presentation of data and its analysis is welcome and desired. It was clear that those responsible were interested in acting quickly from this point forth.

Key points were that FAA acknowledges that operating a UAV presents different challenges than operating manned aircraft.

No ruling on hobbyist activity. FAA states that as already regulated provided flying is done under the “Know Before You Fly” guidelines.

FAA stresses Education and Safety as paramount. Stated that they are performing “aggressive” research into beyond LOS UAS rulings

Emphasis on the NPRM as part of an evolving and iterative process.

I think it’s safe to say that I am not alone in feeling somewhat relieved by this NPRM as most expected something far more stringent and limited. I believe the New York City Drone Users Group and its more commercially driven members are now presented with an opportunity and responsibility to become more involved in rule making and to continue to act as ambassadors of the this growing industry.

I will be posting a response to the NPRM soon. Please share your thoughts and comments.

Bergen Community College Construction – Aerial Timelapse – February 4, 2015

Clicking on the images will take you to a Dropbox link. For best quality viewing, best to download and play locally as Dropbox streaming isn’t great…Screenshot 2015-02-04 15.40.03

STEM Students built and programmed a 400mm quadcopter equipped with a 3DR Pixhawk and a GoPro3+ and 2 axis camera gimbal. Flights, up until January 8, 2015 were on a weekly basis using preset, saved GPS Waypoint navigation course via use of Mission Planner open source software.

This edit is a proof of concept that given enough data, ie. many more weeks of construction, Students will be able to edit together a timelapse video with an aerial camera in motion.

I’m really proud of the students involved in this, and all the other STEM projects underway. I find them to be an inspiration in their energy, ingenuity, and spirit.

Bergen Community College – Studio Bergen – January 7, 2015

Bergen Community College – Studio Bergen Screenshot 2015-01-26 13.38.06

I’m very fortunate and proud to be given the opportunity to mentor and lead a team of STEM students at Bergen Community College. The work they do together is inspiring, they have created a diverse and welcoming community for students of any discipline to get involved.

NPR Weekend Edition

I had the pleasure of being interviewed for NPR’s Weekend Morning Edition this past summer. It was a great experience for our STEM Student Union Interns to demonstrate the work we’ve been doing at Bergen Community College. Exciting for them to hear their voices on the radio and to see their names in print(?), in digits(?) – online!

It’s been a learning process for me in working with the media and keeping my message succinct while maintaining the flow of the interview. I’ve found that the unguarded or offhand comment is usually what ends up in the story – and by the way – I did not coin the term “dronie”!

NPR Weekend Edition

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