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The purpose of this letter is to 1) summarize our understanding of drones, 2) highlight
deliverables on the drones project, and to 3) present specific questions regarding the applications
of drones in this project.
A drone is a kind of aircraft known as unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with no pilot on board
which is a component of an unmanned aircraft system including a UAV, a ground-based
controller, and a system of communications between the two.1 It originated mostly for military
purpose, for example, the CIA had been flying unarmed drones over Afghanistan since 2000.11
But as the UAV become more and more popular, its application has expanded to commercial,
scientific, recreational, agricultural, and other applications such as goods deliveries and
This project is aiming to develop a drone for civilian and drones from DJI, which headquartered
in Shenzhen, are the most widely used drones today for civilian. 4 DJI has been the world’s
leader in area of civilian drone and aerial imaging technology industry which holds about 85% of
the global consumer drone market.5 We will take some reference from the product of DJI in
order to develop a stable and usable drone.
Laws regarding the commercial flight of drones vary from state to state6. Most laws are more
associated with privacy violations with surveillance drones rather than prohibition of commercial
flight. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), who has sovereignty over arial law
enforcement in the United States, has certain guidelines for consumers or companies when they
fly drones. The regulations include registering the drone, making sure not to fly it near rescue
zones (i.e. zones impacted by a recent hurricane), and flying the drone below 400 ft. after civil
twilight7. It is dangerous to wrongly fly drones such as flying drones near airports because
drones can pose a greater risk to aircraft than birds when collision.8 In order to avoid collision
between drones and aircrafts, it is important to develop detect-and avoid technology on drones
which is another important issue during our development.
For this project, we must create a drone that can fit into a 30-inch tall protective storage tube
with a radius of 10 inches. The drone have a flying range of at least 20 miles. It must also be
designed so that the air pressure underneath the drone is greater than that above it. The
reasoning for this is to help the drone stay airborne instead of going through free-falling to the
ground 9. A higher pressure on the bottom of the drone can be achieved through curving the
wings so they resemble a negative parabola with a coefficient less than one 10. The application
for our drone is designed to achieve product delivery by using drones. 

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