Northwestern Michigan College unmanned drone program lends students unique opportunities

2014-01-27

Northwestern Michigan College unmanned drone program lends students unique opportunities

The U.S. government isn’t expected to open airspace for civilian unmanned drone flight until 2015.

But Northwestern Michigan College students can fly drones today.

The Traverse City college is the only school in the Great Lakes region and one of a handful in the nation with federal approval to teach courses on unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly known as drones. The college teaches U.S. drone law, drone technology and how to operate the schools unmanned fixed-wing airplanes and quadcopters – helicopter-like unmanned aircraft with four rotors.

It also has a certificate of authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which permits the college and its students to research and conduct unmanned, outdoor flight with a number of remote control aircraft.

The decision to aggressively pursue an unmanned aerial vehicle program began almost five years ago, said Tony Sauerbrey, the programs manager.

«We were reading the writing on the wall how unmanned aerial vehicles and the whole industry in general is probably going to be playing a pretty large part of civilian aviation in the future,» he said.

The college prepares its students for operation of a drone in different settings, including commercial flight, said Sauerbrey. He believes the application of unmanned flight is possible in a large number of areas, from monitoring farmers fields to police surveillance to power line or pipeline inspection.

But the program has a problem: The use of drones in the United States is not legal for commercial ventures. So students who want to fly one as an occupation cannot do so unless theyre employed by the government or find work in another country.

College officials expect that to change in 2015 when the FAA is expected to announce regulations for civilians to fly the aircraft for profit. In fact, the college has helped the agency draft operator guidelines, according to the schools website.

Sauerbrey anticipates the schools program will meet FAA rules when theyre established. But he is also concerned the Congress wont get to the issue by the deadline.

There is a chance bureaucratic issues could delay that process, he said.

The regulations for small (unmanned vehicles) were actually supposed to be out about a year ago with sort of everything being figured out by 2015,” he said. Im hopeful that no matter what, no later than 2015 well see those regulations in place, because it is really holding back an industry in a time when we need jobs.

Despite the uncertainty regarding future drone law, the colleges aviation program has seen a drastic increase in student interest in unmanned flight, according to Aaron Cook, the programs aviation director.

Two years ago, 20 percent of inquiries into the aviation program were for the (unmanned vehicle) program, and last year it was 70 percent, he said. The interest has grown dramatically.

Out of the schools 120 aviation students, about half are enrolled in a drone class.

Northwestern Michigan College is unique because most schools in the nation cant let students fly outside. To do that, they must apply for a certificate of authorization, but it is a time consuming process that requires a suitable flying environment, approval from the government and backing from the institution, said Cook.

We have a flying field that was essentially donated to us so we had that resource available, he said. And we had an environment within the college that supported doing this. The idea of innovation and change and trying new things was supported here.

Another big challenge is working with the government to get authorization, Sauerbrey said. You dont just sign up online real quick and two days later you get (authorization) he said. They do want a lot of information on what youre doing, where youre flying, what youre flying, the qualifications of the pilots, the training involved, and all that kind of good stuff. So they do want quite a bit of information, and that makes sense.

Now that the colleges aviation program is established, the next big step will be whenever the FAA relaxes its restrictions on commercial use. When that happens, the students will see many immediate opportunities in the U.S, said Cook.

He lists golf course development, real estate photography and land surveys as just a few of the possible applications. But Cook said the technology has potential to take the field to places they could never anticipate right now.




Unmanned aircraft taking to Texas skies for FAA testing

2014-02-27
Unmanned aircraft taking to Texas skies for FAA testing

Increasing numbers of aircraft are taking to the Texas skies unmanned.

Drone Pilots: The Future Of Aerial Warfare

2011-11-28
Drone Pilots: The Future Of Aerial Warfare
To understand how important remotely piloted aircraft are to theU.S.military, consider this...

Flight of the drones

2011-10-27
Flight of the drones
Why the future of air power belongs to unmanned systems

'Messengers of Death': Are Drones Creating a New Global Arms Race?

2011-10-23
'Messengers of Death': Are Drones Creating a New Global Arms Race?
They are difficult to detect, deadly and cheap to build. Despite the dubious legality of assassinating suspected terrorists and Taliban without a trial, the market for drones is heating up around the world. With Israel and China moving into the market, are we about to see a new arms race?

Northrop Grumman Aims To Take On Predator

2011-05-10
Northrop Grumman Aims To Take On Predator
After decades of enjoying a virtually uncontested lead in the medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial systems (UAS) market, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems may finally be facing some competition.

The Terminators: drone strikes prompt MoD to ponder ethics of killer robots

2011-04-21
The Terminators: drone strikes prompt MoD to ponder ethics of killer robots
Analysis of unmanned aircraft in combat urges Britain to establish policy on 'acceptable machine behaviour'.
The growing use of unmanned aircraft in combat situations raises huge moral and legal issues, and threatens to make war more likely as armed robots take over from human beings, according to an internal study by the Ministry of Defence.

UAV market set to double

2011-03-31
UAV market set to double
While few would dispute that unmanned air systems have transformed military aviation during the past decade, it is looking increasingly certain that the coming 10 years will see huge change in unmanned air vehicles themselves. It would not be excessive to call the next couple of years a genuine watershed in the development of UAVs.

UCAS-D is on track with X-47B

2011-02-19
UCAS-D is on track with X-47B
February 4, 2011The Northrop Grumman-built U.S. Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft successfully completed its historic first flight at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

Unblinking eye in the sky

2011-02-18
Unblinking eye in the sky
The next generation surveillance package for the Air Force's MQ-9 Reaper drones, named for Medusa's stony glare, will provide an unprecedentedly broad view of the battlefield spanning time and space

Sikorskys Optionally Piloted Black Hawk

2011-02-18
Sikorskys Optionally Piloted Black Hawk
The crew, at the end of their duty time, switch the helicopter to unmanned mode and disembark. The Black Hawk searches for and connects to the nearest ground control station, accepts the preprogrammed mission and takes off to find and pick up its first load.


Pages: Prev. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next

Back to the list


Quote Name
Judithled, 23.04.2017 20:52:16
wh0cd472216 Cost Of Viagra
Quote Name
GrooriaGralgeha, 27.03.2014 18:54:55
Quote Name
Rory, 20.03.2014 10:05:44
They will not do any excellent except as a way of showing off that these teenagers have funds to devote for louis vuitton replica these high-priced clothing. Why go to the extent of catching up with new types in order to be identified? Cheap Designer Clothing - Where To Purchase Inexpensive Designer Clothes On the web. All the greatest for your profession! Of all the kinds of dresses that spell feminine allure, cocktail dresses are surely the ultimate. Animal prints and bold designs form the trademark of this luxury brand. There are just a couple of chanel shoes the brand names that are the most sought following in the style business. Not all major style designers went to a style school to find out about designing clothes. To design and style clothes it is not needed to have any fancy college degree as lengthy as you have oodles of talent, fashion sense, a vision and the perseverance to translate your vision into beautiful styles.Even though females tend to go for quantity more than quality, males would rather have a couple of pairs of excellent shoes than a whole closet full of gucci shoes common alternatives. For those who do want to acquire designer clothing there appears to be a clear choice. So, it usually pays to preserve your eyes open. Who knows what you may be inspired from to design clothes. A very good notion is as good as how it translates into the sketch. Anybody can comply with directions from pre made pattern and produce a dress, but to generate and design your personal dress takes a lot of work and talent.
Enter your Post*
Spam bot protection (CAPTCHA)