Home-NAAANAAA Endorses and Encourages Ag Aircraft GPS Data Collection Effort Protecting Manned...

NAAA Endorses and Encourages Ag Aircraft GPS Data Collection Effort Protecting Manned Ag Aircraft from Drones

Mississippi State University’s (MSU) Raspet Flight Research Laboratory (RFRL) is continuing its research study on safe operational distances between low-altitude, manned aircraft and drones. MSU is now beginning its second stage of GPS flight log data collection from manned agricultural aircraft. Many AgAir Update readers may have donated GPS flight log data during the first stage of data collection from 2017 to 2020. This second stage of GPS flight log data collection is critical to continue MSU Raspet’s ongoing research. Methods for GPS flight log data deliveries remain the same as the first stage – please see details below for all delivery options to MSU.


This effort is supported and encouraged by the NAAA as MSU’s objective is to understand, model and predict manned ag aircraft in order to educate drone operators and promote safe, responsible drone flight in ag environments. NAAA has already seen the benefits of having this information available when dealing with government officials by being able to emphasize the low-altitude airspace that NAAA members operate in.


More GPS flight log data is needed for the next research steps to facilitate the safe integration of unmanned aircraft (UA) into the airspace in which manned ag aircraft operations occupy. The data collected could have other benefits to ag aviation safety and performance, such as average turn radius, decent and ascent angles, etc. As with the first stage of data collection, NAAA and MSU agreed that all of the information collected is confidential, as confirmed by the following language from MSU Raspet:


*IMPORTANT* – Just as with our previous GPS flight log data collection effort, please know that MSU remains fully committed to protecting the privacy of NAAA’s members who donate their flight logs. The personal information of NAAA members who choose to donate their data will NOT under any circumstances be shared outside MSU. Furthermore, the GPS flight logs themselves will be stripped of all personally identifying information before any research is conducted using the data. Our research would never be possible without these data donations from NAAA membership. We tremendously value and appreciate your NAAA members who trust us with their data. At the end of the day, the privacy and security of these members is our upmost priority. 


Please submit your 2021 GPS flight data now. New with this round of data collection is the need to capture aircraft make and model info (not the N number or other personally identifying information) and GPS system make and model information, in addition to the GPS flight logs.


The steps to do so are accessible using the link and login credentials below:


  1. Email Madison Dixon, RFRL Research Director, at mdixon@raspet.msstate.edu.
  2. Upload to the NAAA Ag Data Repository at www.hpc.msstate.edu/raspet-naaa/ (1 GB file limit per upload). Email Madison Dixon at mdixon@raspet.msstate.edu to receive your login Username and Password.
  3. Mail a USB flash drive or another external hard drive device to the address below. (The flash drive will be immediately mailed back to the sender once data is received):
    Attn: Madison Dixon 
    MSU Raspet Flight Research Lab – Building 2 
    114 Airport Road 
    Starkville, MS 39759




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