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Our Mission

To promote education and research with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).


  • Utilize UAS and its applicable technology to further research and data collection
  • Establish OSU as a leader in UAS use, safety, and research
  • Partner with industry to provide economic opportunities for our students, faculty, and local business
  • Ensure safe operating procedures for UAS flight in compliance with FAA requirements and OSU policies


A note from the FAA:

FAA Seal


Drones are prohibited from flying over designated national security sensitive facilities. Operations are prohibited from the ground up to 400 feet above ground level, and apply to all types and purposes of UAS flight operations. Examples of these locations are:

  • Military bases designated as Department of Defense facilities
  • National landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty, Hoover Dam, Mt. Rushmore
  • Certain critical infrastructure, such as nuclear power plants

The FAA is continuing to consider additional requests by eligible federal security agencies for UAS specific flight restrictions as they are received. 

There are also flight restrictions or temporary flight restrictions over some public venues and other locations. Learn about airspace restrictions and where it is safe to fly:

Operators who violate the airspace restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges. 

For more information about these restrictions, including frequently asked questions, please visit the FAA’s UAS website.


There are lots of great places to fly your drones, but over or near a wildfire isn’t one of them. In fact, drone operators who interfere with wildfire suppression efforts are subject to civil penalties of up to $20,000 and possible federal criminal prosecution.

Here’s why it’s important: Aerial firefighting aircraft, such as airtankers and helicopters, fly at very low altitudes, just a couple hundred feet above the ground and in the same airspace as hobby and recreational drones. This creates the potential for a mid-air collision that could seriously injure or kill wildland firefighters in the air or on the ground.

As a result of unlawful drone operations near fires this year, fire managers have temporarily grounded all aerial firefighting aircraft on several occasions for safety reasons. Shutting down firefighting operations could cause wildfires to become larger and can threaten lives, property, and valuable natural and cultural resources.

The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) says it best: “If You Fly, We Can’t."

Please fly responsibly – keep your drone away from wildfires.