Clemson Granted Certificate of Authorization to Fly UAS Across United States

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Clemson University has received a “Blanket Area Public Agency Certificate of Authorization” from the Federal Aviation Administration, which will allow the school to fly UAS throughout the United States for research purposes. The license will also allow the school to register more Clemson employees as UAS pilots.

Many people will benefit from this new certificate of authorization, but one of the people who might benefit the most from it is Joe Mari Maja, a research engineer at the school. Before this authorization, Maja had the freedom to fly UAS on behalf of the school, but it was on a limited basis at designated spots throughout South Carolina.

Now, Maja can not only fly a small UAS anywhere across the United States, but he can also train other potential pilots, and he plans to do so after helping Clemson’s legal counsel develop training and certification materials, in an effort to promote safe and responsible UAS flying procedures for university operators.

As a sensor engineer, Maja works in the field of precision agriculture, and he is currently using UAS equipped with “intelligent agri-tronics devices,” sensor-based technologies, to conduct research related to monitoring the health of crops.

The information that he collects via UAS helps farmers figure out when and where to water, fertilize or spray crops, in an effort to improve their techniques and efficiently take care of their crops.

Via Clemson’s “The Newsstand,” Maja said, “UAV is a game-changer in precision agriculture.”

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