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Droneworks Safety

Event Safety

Drones will be operated within a given airspace. The airspace consists of two (2) straight leg canopy tents fastened together to form a flying envelope approximately 20 ft. long x 10 ft. wide x 6 ft. high. Netting is hung to isolate the drones from participants and spectators (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Airspace with netting

Participant Safety

 A. Participants are required to provide and wear safety-approved eye wear during all phases of this event.

1. Prescription eye wear will need to have side shields to be considered safety eye wear.
2. Should a participant remove his/her eye wear during the event, s/he will be reminded once to replace it. If there is a second infraction, the participant will be disqualified and asked to leave the competition.
3. Sunglasses or dark tinted safety glasses are not suitable.

B. Only two (2) participants are allowed in the competition area. One participant will serve as the pilot. The other participant will serve as the spotter. If the team consists of one (1) participant, the participant may act as both the pilot and the spotter.

C. All participants must remain outside the netted airspace while the drone is flying.

D. Only one participant will power up and pilot the drone; this includes the gamepad controller, connected smartphone/tablet/computer, and drone.

E. Participants may only enter the netted airspace to place the drone on the helipad prior to the round countdown or to retrieve a drone that is powered down and has no power to the propellers.

Drone Safety

A. Power cannot be applied to the propellers unless the drone is in a netted airspace.

B. Participants may not fly in an intentionally dangerous manner.

C. Participants may not fly their drone over or near other individuals.

D. Participants may only fly their drone within the netted airspace.

E. Participants may only fly their drone when instructed to do so by a judge.

F. Participants will be asked to crash land or ground their aircraft if its flight course poses a threat to any individuals or goes beyond the boundaries of the netted airspace.

G. The smartphone/tablet/computer must be placed on the table and remain untouched while a participant is placing the drone on the helipad.

H. Participants will adhere to all safety rules and directions of event officials.

Battery Safety

A. Participants may only connect a battery to the drone when the drone is on the “hot table” and told to do so by an event official.

B. Participants should always be present during the charging of a lithium polymer (LiPo) battery.

C. Follow good LiPo treatment practices:

1. Do not discharge batteries below 20%.
2. Do not charge batteries above 90%.
3. Never charge a battery that is puffy or punctured.
4. Stop charging immediately if a battery heats up.

D. Lithium Polymer battery fires are chemical fires that do not require oxygen to burn, so if a battery ignites:

1. Do not pour water on the battery. This will only make the fire worse.
2. Do not place the battery in a sealed container to smother the fire.
3. Do not use a standard household fire extinguisher.

E. If a battery ignites:

1. Place the battery in a metal bucket of sand, then cover the battery with an additional layer of sand.
2. Place a plastic bag full of sand over the battery.

Wireless Network Safety

A. Only drones within the netted airspace or “on-deck” at the hot table are to be powered on and connected to a smartphone/tablet/computer. Any team violating this rule is subject to disqualification.