Oklahoma State University researchers have supported the Federal Aviation Administration for several years. Now they’re using their resources to help the FAA with a new drone concept.

OSU, and its program called the Unmanned Systems Research Institute, is currently using drones to record data for the FAA.

The FAA is hoping drones could make navigational aid calibrations more efficient.

“They approached us over a year ago and started having discussions about unmanned support for them. And that's what we're doing for them now. We're flying unmanned vehicles and collecting data for them," Gary Ambrose, research manager at OSU said.

When a pilot comes in for landing, even if it is on a visual day, they will select a navigational system to aid them in their process. A localizer frequency will shoot out so the pilot can make an instrument approach.

Those systems are on every middle or large airport.

“The FAA has a responsibility to calibrate those systems. We are helping augment that calibration with an unmanned vehicle,” said Ambrose.

He continued to say the FAA chose OSU to conduct the study, because the university has a unique UAV engineering program.

“OSU is unique because drone research has been going on here for 20 plus years,” Ambrose said.

”We'll do things with other departments doing research. You know, agriculture department doing crop measurements. Geography doing maps of geologic formations things like that,” Taylor Mitchell, senior research engineer, said.

The UAV program also supports outreach programs, weather research, and some military research as well.

For more information about drones and OSU's USRI program, click here