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KU Gets NASA Drone for Research

Drone videos have been used in an increased role including the film industry and there research applications. Student’s like Ben Brodsky use them for the former.

“My favorite thing is wrap around shots that really show the beauty of an area,” said Brodsky. “Wrapping around a buildings, circling around a stadium at safe distance, always keeping in mind safety.”

His drone has helped him excel in the film business and give him shots that increase the production value for his films and projects. Brodsky has also gotten special clearance from local police and other organizations to get truly amazing shots.

“During the World Series celebration, I was able to fly over the parade which was, once in a life time footage I was able to get,” said Brodsky.

But he’s not the only group on campus that is excited about using new drone technology. KU Aerospace has received a drone, the Viking 400, from NASA which will one day be used to test ice sheets in Greenland tied to global sea-level rise.

Dr. Emily Arnold is the Aerospace Professor who will be fitting her equipment into the Viking 400 over the next couple of years. But aside from Arnold’s research, she will be using it as a model for her computer automated design (CAD) class.

“So it’s always nice, especially for our students, when they’re doing these projects when they actually have a real aircraft that they’re working for,” said Arnold. “Especially now that they can see the real aircraft, and know that it’s a NASA UAV, I think that’s really exciting for them.”

What KU Aerospace will be trying to prove that the drone will be useful to remove the “three D’s,” as Arnold says, from the flights over the ice caps.

“There’s a rule of three D’s when dealing with UAS you want to use them with missions that are dull dirty and dangerous”

While the Viking 400 will not be flown by any KU students or faculty during its stay in Lawrence, but in two years will be flown on a mission with KU researchers present.