, Norman

, Oklahoma

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-14 14:45:52
“I am a research engineer at the Center for Autonomous Sensing and Sampling (CASS) at the National Weather Center. We use unmanned aircraft as a tool to sample the atmosphere and improve forecast, especially for severe weather. In the case of flying missions to collect data for warn-on-forecast models, the quality of data acquired is crucial. For this reason we at CASS design our own aircraft around the needed measurements. These scratch designs ensure that the aircraft is not introducing any observer effects on the measurements. As a hobbyist, I am free of most of my of the legal constraints I have when building research aircraft for the government. So, the hobby is a space of joy and learning. I can try different designs without the concern of crashing expensive sensors. In turn, the lessons I learn within the hobby (in particular within the flitetest community) I leverage as my professional building toolkit. Other aspects of flying model aircraft in my life are more personal. It is the space I connect with people and strengthen friendships. It is an activity I enjoy with my wife, as she is very crafty and helps me to layout plans and build (I am also teaching her to fly). It is an activity I hope to pass on to my future kids (This one is especially important to me because I did not grow up with my father). Finally, because CASS and the National Weather Center are attached to the University of Oklahoma, flying helped me get my scholarship for my Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. So, if this rule passes as written, I won’t be able to build the research aircraft, I won’t be able to have fun with my friends, and I will lose a great tool to spark the interest in engineering on my future kids.”