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Unmanned Systems Foundations (USI201)


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For someone else

Unmanned Systems course objective is to provide an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of UAS technology to include the hardware and software inclusions and gain a holistic view of concerns facing UAS integration into the National Airspace.

Here is the course outline:

1. Orientation

The Systems course is divided into six units of study. Each unit varies in length and difficulty with a standardized structure consisting of required readings, assignments, and progress assessments. This orientation will familiarize you, the learner, with our learning management system, course delivery format, and the Small UAS Safety Certificate program.

2. (Unit 1) UAS Foundations

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have a long history of injecting change and solving problems facing the traditional aviation sector, from providing militaries with long-range standoff weapons to reducing the risk of reconnaissance flight. UAS have now made the initial transition of military technology to consumer technology. UAS advocates have rushed these systems to market, championing their benefits and glossing over their sizable limits. Regulators and aviation stakeholders have been slow to adapt, but are just starting to make meaningful accommodations that could usher in a new golden age for aviation.

3. (Unit 2) Robotic Aircraft

In this unit, we explored details of robotic aircraft and discovered how they fly and navigate so seemingly effortlessly through the skies overhead. We looked at the aerodynamics of sUAS and the forces acting on these aircraft, including how to utilize control surfaces and changes in rotor speeds to induce moments and forces on aircraft, allowing them to maneuver through the air. We examined the different configurations of both fixed- and rotary-wing sUAS and learned about the pros and cons of each. We also looked at the past, present, and future of robotic aircraft with the hopes that you, the student, gained valuable knowledge and a new respect and interest in this new and exciting field of unmanned aviation.

4. (Unit 3) Datalinks

Unmanned systems require datalinks to communicate back and forth from the air vehicle to the ground control station and vice versa. Due to a UAS not having an onboard pilot, commands must be made electronically to ensure control of the air vehicle. There is also a requirement for the health of the aircraft and payload information to be relayed back down to the operator. This is all accomplished via radio transmission of specially coded information through air wave transmission. Due to the nature of radio communications, there are some anomalies we need to be aware of to ensure the information is transmitted and received in full. Exploring several of these influencers will assist any UAS professional in being a safer and more competent operator.

5. (Unit 4) UAS Control

Due to the dynamics of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) integration and the need to be able to control the Air Vehicle (AV) from the ground, advances in ground station development have occurred at a rapid rate. The Ground Control Station (GCS) takes the pilot out of the aircraft, but not out of the “cockpit.” The GCS is a modified and simulated cockpit that has many advantages, as well as disadvantages, as compared to manned flight. Some of these advantages are that the pilot is not in harm’s way and that autonomy affords a higher state of precision work. Some disadvantages are that new human factor issues are still associated with GCS design.

6. (Unit 5) Payloads

Small UAS (sUAS) are able to fly in areas and at altitudes that have eluded remote-sensing professionals in the past. The promise of low cost and high resolution has made sUAS one of the most disruptive technologies in a field dominated by expensive satellite and aircraft platforms. This chapter will explore the sensors and science behind the acquisition of environmental information from a sUAS flying overhead.

7. End of Course Assessment

EOC to measure knowledge of learning objectives.

8. End Of Course Survey

This survey allows you to provide feedback as to the content, flow, and learning achieved in the course.

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