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Drone Services takes flight

Aerial view of Ohio State campus.
Campus view captured by a Center for Aviation Studies drone

The Ohio State University Center for Aviation Studies announces the launch of Drone Services, providing data collection to on- and off-campus clients. Drones equipped with high-tech cameras and other data collection tools are rapidly becoming advantageous to many fields. Not only do they enable collection of aerial data more quickly and easily than many previously used methods, but also allow for collection of data once inaccessible or cost-prohibitive.

“Those with data collection needs can benefit from a vast array of services to enhance research or other projects,” said Brian Strzempkowski, the center’s assistant director. “We offer full-service support – flight planning, airspace permissions, data collection and post-processing of imagery. This allows researchers to save time and money by not needing to train as drone pilots themselves, while providing access to larger drones with advanced sensors.”

The fleet includes small rotorcraft drones ideal for cinema or photography, such as 3D modeling of buildings. In addition, a fixed-wing drone is geared toward large-scale mapping. The heavy-lift drone can integrate a variety of mission-specific sensors and implements – for example, those used for measuring air quality or transporting and depositing a payload.

Information about the drone fleet, data collection capabilities and service fees is online. The services have already been utilized by many clients over the past two years since the program informally took flight, and the demand has been increasing.

Drone screen with map, video feed, and thermal image.
Drones can collect construction site or demolition data, such as thermal imaging.

“There are so many ways that drones can augment projects,” said Program Manager Mark Bolin. “For example, we are currently mapping a 600-acre corn field on a biweekly basis for one client. What used to be a full-day’s work for them with boots on the ground can now be done in a couple of hours with a drone, resulting in time and cost savings, plus more precise data. Opportunities are endless.”

The services are part of the center’s larger initiative to be the hub for campus drone flight topics. In addition to the service request webpage, Ohio State students will find a growing list of campus drone resources, as well as a page outlining the center’s drone-focused academic courses.

Would you like to discuss your data collection project? Do you have student resources you would like to submit for consideration to be included? Email Program Manager Mark Bolin at

Media contact: Holly Henley, communications specialist,

Category: Drones
Tag: Drones