Embry-Riddle crowd funded buyers guide


It is projected that more than a million small UAS may be sold over the 2015 holiday season. Many new buyers are unfamiliar with critical concepts of aviation and may not completely understand what options best meet their needs.

What We Want Do

The Embry-Riddle Worldwide College of Aeronautics wants to test a variety of sUAS and their capabilities and to share the results in a free comparison and buying guide. Embry-Riddle will use its expertise to educate the public about UAS and promote safe and responsible operation.

What We’ve Done So Far

The Embry-Riddle Worldwide College of Aeronautics has already begun preliminary work on the comparison guide. To date, we have:

  • Collected and analyzed quantitative metrics of 500 Group 1-3 UAS platforms to determine which sUAS to acquire
  • Acquired seven sUAS platforms (mix of ERAU and faculty personal assets)
  • Developed a rating system for sUAS platforms
  • Begun review of user support provided for each sUAS
  • Begun drafting the sUAS Comparison and Buying Guide

What We Need

To create this free public resource, the Embry-Riddle Worldwide College of Aeronautics needs funds to buy a variety of sUAS to test and analyze, ranging in price from $349 to $1,369. Several faculty members, along with graduate and undergraduate students, will examine a number of popular sUAS platforms and provide reviews relating to key areas important to a first-time operator — including quality of construction, ease of operation, cost, accuracy of advertised capability and user support.

Why It Matters

The Embry-Riddle Worldwide Small UAS Comparison and Purchasing Guide will give Embry-Riddle students hands-on experience in operating, testing and analyzing different sUAS systems. Once the guide is completed, the UAS will be incorporated into the classrooms to teach important concepts and safety practices, and to pursue UAS-related research activities.

The guide will also provide a free educational resource to the public, increasing awareness about sUAS and their capabilities. While the Federal Aviation Administration has actively promoted safety and responsible operation, it can’t reach all these new pilots alone. Help Embry-Riddle establish consumer standards for quality sUAS and safe operation.