Archives for December 16, 2015

New 2016 Funding Opportunity: Scenario Planning to Advance Safety Culture (LOI deadline Feb. 17)

Gulf research
 The Gulf Research Program’s Exploratory Grants Funding Opportunity is now open. Applications are being accepted for innovative research projects that seek to break new ground in Scenario Planning to Advance Safety Culture and Minimize Risk in Offshore Oil and Gas Operations. These grants will support the development of new methods, technologies, and approaches to improve the use of scenario planning as a tool to explore risks related to high consequence, process safety related incidents in offshore oil and gas operations (drilling, production, well integrity, transportation) on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, and to identify opportunities to prevent incidents and/or minimize related harms. Of particular interest are scenarios that lead to a better understanding of how the actions of organizations and individuals influence safety culture.

This opportunity is now open and is relevant to a wide range of disciplines and participants who work on risk assessment, human factors, and safety culture issues, including university researchers, private sector professionals, decision analysts, consulting groups, and others. Please forward this message to others who might be interested in this opportunity.

Application details, including eligibility requirements and review criteria, are posted at:

Important Dates:

  • Exploratory Grant Opportunity Opens:                     December 15, 2015
  • Letters of Intent (REQUIRED) Deadline:                  5pm ET, February 17, 2016
  • Full Proposal Submission Deadline:                           5pm ET, April 13, 2016

 To keep informed about Gulf Research Program funding opportunities, sign up to receive our periodic email updates.

Thank you for your interest and assistance distributing this opportunity announcement,

The Gulf Research Program

An update — drones — Missouri S&T — FAA

Drones (aka, UAS, UAV, sUAS) are big — for commercial uses, for research, for hobbyist, and as they are commercially deployed across the economy for many – many more uses.  Here in campus we have seen several researchers plan on sUAS as sensor platforms.

The FAA seriously worries about safety and order and has jurisdiction of anything that travels disconnected from the ground. They have tried and true rules worked out for model planes, frisbees, bullets etc. In the drone zone anyone may fly a privately owned sUAS for non-commercial purposes to go at it without much hindrance. (All the mealy mouth words about ‘privately owned’ and ‘non-commercial’ was to head off the smarty-pants who start offering drone services after buying a personal machine.)

So if you are shopping for a hobby drone for Christmas — have at it; have fun with it. The rules are simple and explained by Know Before You Fly. Nothing burdensome – key is keep it in sight, below 400′, stay away from my daughter with your camera …).  And just released a new rule to register your aircraft to start Dec 21 (Monday).

But if you want to fly for Missouri S&T purposes – and it doesn’t matter if S&T owns it or you do personally – then there is no permission established for outdoor flight. YET.  Okay a few exceptions:

(a) you can tether a machine so it is attached to the earth

(b) you can arrange to use S&T’s certificate of authorization (COA) we have established at Wurdack Farm a site where S&T has set, limited permissions with the FAA

And we are working on three other approaches with the FAA that are not yet in place:

(c) extending a permissive FAA test site environment from Texas to Missouri

(d) securing a Section 333 exemption from the FAA — an expanded drone zone

(e) we expect FAA to post another rule on commercial (don’t quibble they mean university too) sUAS registration.

CAUTION:  Any and all of these avenues for FAA covered flight have requirements that have to be met in training, registration, certifications, reporting and restrictions. We will help you with that.

Miner Fly: Our Information Technology team – research support services – has stepped in big with support. Under Mark Bookout they now have a collection of fixed and multi-rotor drones, sensors, and hardware/software support to make things work.  Jennifer Nixon is collecting up information on machines, sensors and talents we have around campus to make a share list and make the first connections on what sensors can fly with what platforms.

Bottom Line: If you are ready for drones go for it — but do it with us so we can keep you in the windows of permission.