APSU College of STEM starts drone racing team
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APSU College of STEM starts drone racing team

An APSU drone

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – On a recent, sunny afternoon, a small aircraft buzzed past flapping banners on the Austin Peay State University intramural field. The pilot, wearing a pair of virtual reality glasses, stood several feet away, maneuvering a quadcopter drone around a series of obstacles with a remote control.

Moments later, the aircraft landed safely in the grass, bringing an end to the first official flight for APSU’s new drone racing team. The team, a collaboration between the College of STEM’s Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy and the college’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Center, will eventually participate in Collegiate Drone Racing Association competitions.

“What’s cooler than racing drones,” Bryan Gaither, lab manager for the APSU Department of Physics, Engineering, and Astronomy, said. “We want to promote the College of STEM and the department all while having fun.”

The College of STEM recently purchased five drones for the team. To make sure the team knew what it was doing, they enlisted the GIS Center for help.

“GIS has used the drones for mostly mapping projects over the year, but we want more students and departments to take advantage and become familiar with drones,” Doug Catellier, GIS project manager, said. “We hope by starting a team it draws this attention, and we can compete and show how fun it is.”

For more information on the team, contact the APSU GIS Center at 931-221-7500.