Drone Lab Equipment & Facilities

The Drone Lab has an extensive set of drones, sensors, facilities, and supporting equipment for drone-based research and teaching. The list of our equipment and facilities changes often as we acquire new drones and sensors and expand our work.

The links below are for facilities and equipment statements that were used in a recent (and successful!) grant application. They may be useful if you need to include Drona Lab equipment and facilities in a grant proposal.

Drone Lab Equipment


  • Freefly Astro with Pilot Pro controller
  • DJI Matrice M350
  • DJI Matrice M210 with dual camera mounts and Zenmuse x5s RGB camera
  • DJI Matrice M200 with single camera mount
  • DJI Matrice M600
  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro
  • DJI Phantom 4 Multispectral
  • DJI Phantom 4 Pro
  • DJI Phantom 4 Advanced
  • DJI Mavic Mini with prop guards (good training/learning drone)
  • Autel Evo 2 Duo R (radiometric TIR camera and RGB camera)
  • Several assorted fixed-wing drones


  • Micasense (now AgEagle) RedEdge M 5-band multispectral sensor
  • Micasense Altum multispectral and thermal imaging sensor
  • Yellowscan Surveyor Ultra 3 lidar sensor with camera module
  • DJI L1 Lidar
  • DJI Zenmuse x5s RGB camera
  • Autel FLIR Boson radiometric thermal IR sensor (on Autel Evo 2 DuoR drone)
  • Deleaves tree vegetation sampling tool

GNSS Equipment

  • Emlid Reach RS3 (set as RTK base station)
  • Emlid Reach RS+ (set as RTK rover)
  • Emlid Reach RS (set as RTK base station)
  • Emlid Reach-M RTK (2 modules)
  • Various tripods and survey poles
  • 24″ iron-cross-style pvc-cloth ground control targets (qty 20)
  • 48″ iron-cross-style pvc-cloth ground control targets (qty 10)

Power Equipment

  • EcoFlow Delta Max 1.3KWh battery bank (for field charging)
  • Renogy 100W solar panel
  • Miscellaneous LiPo battery chargers


  • More props, batteries, motors, etc. than you can shake a stick at!
  • Prusa MK3 3D printer
  • Basic tools, maintenance, and fabrication equipment

Drone Lab Facilities

In 2016, the UI completed construction of the Interdisciplinary Research and Innovation Center (IRIC) as the central hub of interdisciplinary research. The IRIC is an open and shared interdisciplinary research facility available to all faculty members across all colleges and activities.

The IRIC is home to the UI Drone Lab, a 260-ft2 shared research space dedicated to the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS, i.e., drones) for research and teaching. The UI Drone Lab is a collaborative effort of UI faculty and staff from five colleges and units across the University, with the goal of supporting the use of UAS and UAS-mounted sensors in high-quality research and teaching across the UI through a shared pool of drones, sensors, software, support equipment, and knowledge.

Drone Pilots

Most of the faculty and students affiliated with the Drone Lab hold a FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot rating and have extensive experience piloting drones and planning/executing drone missions for data collection. The Drone Lab can provide pilots and drone flight services for other UI research projects or classes. See the Services page for more information.

UI’s UAS Committee

The UI’s UAS Committee ensures safe and legal operation of UAS by University faculty, staff, students or third parties. The UAS Committee was established by the UI Vice President for Research and Economic Development to assess and approve all proposed UAS flights for compliance with state and federal laws, UI policy, risk, and ethical concerns. Many of the Drone Lab faculty are standing members of the UAS Committee.