UMD UAS Test Site Operational Status

The UMD UAS Test Site is currently operating in a telework environment, as part of the state-wide response to COVID-19. To contact us, please email Contact information for individual team members can be found here.

As the world of UAS extends to include more civilian and commercial applications, experts at the UAS Test Site help partners understand and adhere to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules as well as standard aviation safety and operations procedures. Our team has extensive experience in manned aviation and aircraft maintenance. Members come to the test site from both military and general aviation backgrounds and can provide guidance on a range of applications and vehicles—from the smallest quadcopters to the largest fixed wing aircraft.

Lawmakers and other decision makers can also tap into UAS Test Site expertise to better understand the challenges and opportunities of airspace integration and craft policies that advance public safety, privacy, and innovation.

Quadcopter at construction site.

New Horizons

The Maryland-based construction management company Smart Site saw an opportunity in 2015 to improve their support of residential development with UAS technology. They sought out the guidance of the pilots, engineers, and policy experts at the UAS Test Site, kickstarting a roughly two-year partnership.

The test site operations staff taught the Smart Site team about the capabilities of different vehicles and helped them define training needs and understand FAA policies for civilian UAS operations. During a site visit in 2016, pilot Ryan Henderson also provided guidance on mission procedures and best practices to empower the company to conduct safe, legal flight operations at construction sites.