Small UAS have been around about as long as aviation itself, according to Kansas State University scientists Brian McCornack and Kurt Carraway. The small, fixed- or rotary-winged systems have been used by the military for years, but technological advances and affordability have sparked an interest for recreational and commercial use. The recent wave of popularity has also heightened concerns about safe operation of the systems.

Some aircrafts are so small they weigh less than a pound and can fit in the palm of your hand, said McCornack, an entomologist based at K-State’s Manhattan campus. He and Carraway, UAS program manager at Kansas State Polytechnic in Salina, have produced a publication, “What You Should Know About Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS),” available free online or by visiting a county or district K-State Research and Extension office.

More information about UAS regulations, potential uses and descriptions of commonly used terminology when it comes to small UAS is available in the publication.