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Voice of the Aerial Application Industry
March 10, 2022
NAAA Endorses and Encourages GPS Data Collection Effort Protecting Manned Ag Aircraft From Drones

‘The Raspet Flight research study is trying to help us. Submitting data is easy to do. All of our tracks [GPS Tracks] will blanket the country and show why regulating drone operations is necessary.’ —Mark Kimmel, 2021 NAAA President

Mississippi State University’s (MSU) Raspet Flight Research Laboratory (RFRL) is continuing its research study on safe operational distances between low-altitude, manned aircraft and drones. MSU is now beginning its second stage of GPS flight log data collection from manned agricultural aircraft. Many NAAA members may have donated GPS flight log data during the first stage of data collection from 2017 to 2020. This second stage of GPS flight log data collection is critical to continue MSU Raspet’s ongoing research. Methods for GPS flight log data deliveries remain the same as the first stage—please see details below for all delivery options to MSU.

This effort is supported and encouraged by NAAA since MSU’s objective is to understand, model and predict manned ag aircraft’s flight patterns in order to educate drone operators and promote safe, responsible drone flight in ag environments. NAAA has already seen the benefits of having this information available when dealing with government officials by being able to emphasize the low-altitude airspace that NAAA members operate in.

“The Raspet Flight research study is trying to help us. Submitting data is easy to do. All of our tracks [GPS Tracks] will blanket the country and show why regulating drone operations is necessary,” Mark Kimmel, NAAA’s 2021 president, said.

More GPS flight log data is needed for the next research steps to facilitate the safe integration of unmanned aircraft (UA) into the airspace in which manned ag aircraft operations occupy. The data collected could have other benefits to ag aviation safety and performance, such as average turn radius, decent and ascent angles, etc. As with the first stage of data collection, NAAA and MSU agreed that all of the information collected is confidential, as confirmed by the following language from MSU Raspet:

*IMPORTANT* – Just as with our previous GPS flight log data collection effort, please know that MSU remains fully committed to protecting the privacy of NAAA’s members who donate their flight logs. The personal information of NAAA members who choose to donate their data will NOT under any circumstances be shared outside MSU. Furthermore, the GPS flight logs themselves will be stripped of all personally identifying information before any research is conducted using the data. Our research would never be possible without these data donations from NAAA membership. We tremendously value and appreciate your NAAA members who trust us with their data. At the end of the day, the privacy and security of these members is our upmost [sic] priority.

Please submit your 2021 GPS flight data now. New with this round of data collection is the need to capture aircraft make and model info (not the N number or other personally identifying information) and GPS system make and model information, in addition to the GPS flight logs.

The steps to do so are accessible using the link and login credentials below:
  1. Email Madison Dixon, RFRL Research Director, at
  2. Upload to the NAAA Ag Data Repository at (1 GB file limit per upload). Email Madison Dixon at to receive your login Username and Password.
  3. Mail a USB flash drive or another external hard drive device to the address below. (The flash drive will be immediately mailed back to the sender once data is received):

    Attn: Madison Dixon
    MSU Raspet Flight Research Lab – Building 2
    114 Airport Road
    Starkville, MS 39759

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This newsletter is intended for NAAA members only. NAAA requests that should any party desire to publish, distribute or quote any part of this newsletter that they first seek the permission of the Association. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), its Board of Directors, staff or membership. Items in this newsletter are not the result of paid advertising and are only meant to highlight newsworthy developments. No endorsement by NAAA is intended or implied.
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