Skip to main content
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones)

(Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

UW–Madison encourages safe and lawful use of drones for research and instructional use. The UW–Madison unmanned aircraft use (UAS) policy helps researchers and instructors meet the Federal Aviation Association’s rules for flying unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – better known as aerial drones – while also helping to protect privacy.

UW faculty, staff, students, contractors and affiliates seeking to operate UAS for UW-related education, research and non-academic purposes must submit an application (see Appendix A) to the UAS Ethics and Safety Committee for review no less than thirty (30) days in advance of the first proposed flight date. This policy applies to drone operations in both indoor and exterior spaces and in connection with UW–Madison activities whether occurring within the United States or internationally.

For safety and privacy reasons, drone operations by students, employees or visitors for recreational or hobbyist purposes are still not permitted on UW–Madison premises. Drone operations by registered student organizations and by students in connection with UW–Madison coursework, are eligible to be considered for approval under this policy as instructional uses.

Applications for research and instructional use of drones should be emailed to drones@research.wisc.edu

Applications for research and instructional use of drones should be emailed to drones@research.wisc.edu