Skip to main content
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Use ARROW if seeking to use drones or autonomous vehicles

The University of Wisconsin–Madison requires faculty, staff, students, contractors, and affiliates seeking to use autonomous vehicles, including unmanned aircraft systems (drones), for UW-related education, research, and non-academic purposes are now asked to submit pilot and flight approval applications in ARROW.

ARROW is a research oversight platform that allows researchers to submit and track research related applications and protocols across oversight authorities. All applications are reviewed by the Research Vehicle Safety Oversight (RVSO) Committee. Committee membership includes representation from across stakeholder areas including faculty, pilots, risk management, UWPD, teach and learning, research, marketing, and facilities.

Approved pilot applications are valid for one year and must be resubmitted annually. Flight applications should be submitted two weeks in advance of any proposed flights.

Prohibited activities include flying for recreational or hobbyist uses on campus. In addition, the campus adheres to FAA guidelines and prohibits the following without waivers:

  • Flight(s) over people
  • Flight(s) beyond the line of sight
  • Flight(s) at night
  • Flight(s) above 400′
  • Flight(s) in controlled airspace (requires authorization)

Registered student organizations and students in connection with UW–Madison course work are eligible to apply for instructional use.

UW–Madison is a challenging environment for drone use of any kind or for any purpose given its location in an urban environment, located just miles from the Dane County Regional Airport and Middleton Municipal Airport, and in close proximity to UW Health’s Med Flight base.

If you have questions about drone use compliance on campus, please contact Heather McFadden,