Drone University K-State Salina in USA

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K-State Salina is one of the first and still one of the few universities in the country to offer a bachelor’s degree in unmanned aircraft systems. The aviation degree is so popular, the university has already had to cap classes.With this revolutionary new field, K-State Salina understands the importance of providing its students with research opportunities, cutting edge technology and equipment and an exclusive education. That’s why it was among the first institutions in the U.S. to allow students to participate in actual missions. For Department of Defense related projects, the program also has access to restricted airspace at the Smoky Hill Weapons Range and has authorization to fly unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System.

drone university in kansas

K-State Salina is one of the first universities to offer a degree and a certificate in Unmanned Aerial Systems. The aviation degree is so popular, the university has already had to cap classes. Here’s a closer look at the U.A.S. program.

K-State Salina’s UAS program uses a hands-on approach to learning, giving students the necessary skills to safely operate and manage a diverse fleet of unmanned aircraft both proprietary and commercially available. Unmanned aircraft systems are multifaceted machines with many working parts and a variety of flying factors, it’s essential that our students’ curriculum is deeply rooted in multiple core areas. Along with UAS education, the program also includes manned aviation, avionics, aircraft maintenance and engineering technology.

K-State Salina’s UAS program is the principle initiative of the university’s Applied Aviation Research Center. Under this resource, our accomplished UAS faculty are engaged in the analysis, experimentation and exploration of on-going projects with federal agencies, private sponsors and internal university groups. As an example of the extent of our research, the AARC completes approximately 100 missions each year. These professional research partnerships not only help perpetuate the continuous influx of new UAS technology into the program, but also connect our students to their future in the industry.


Why You should choose K-State?

K-State Salina offers students a hands-on approach to learning UAS technology. Most universities conduct operator and sensor training via simulation.

At K-State Students begin with UAS simulation and manned flight training. By the third semester students are in the field gaining practical experience flying both Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) UAS and primary UAV trainers. As a team, students and their classmates assume roles as UAS crew members in such positions as Launch and Recovery, Sensor operator, Pilot in Command, Mission Commander, or Safety Officer. By the junior and senior years students have acquired numerous hours of actual UAS flight time and begin operating larger scale/longer duration UAVs such as the Aerosondes or Penguins. The experience and knowledge gained culminates in the senior year when the students integrates a live UAS and conduct test flights.

K-State is unique in that available airspace is not a hindrance to the program. KSU has agreements with the Kansas National Guard and the U.S. Army for airspace to include the Smoky Hill aerial weapons range and restricted airspace at Ft Riley to conduct research and training flights (R-3601 and R-3602). Students also have the ability to train in the National Airspace System via K-State’s Certificates of Authorization (COA). Through a longstanding respected relationship with the FAA KSU has been granted over 10 different COAs.

Sensor training can be an element that is overlooked or may not emphasized in civil UAS training. KSU has numerous COA’s overlying nearby Crisis City, a mock disaster training area owned by the state. With exercises conducted almost weekly students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of sensor training opportunities.

K-State will also be offering students a unique UAS training that is applicable to real-world operations. KSU is one of only a few to conduct UAS hand-off missions. Missions launch from the adjoining class D airport where a chase plane follows the UAV to its operations area 5 miles away. Along the way the UAV is handed-off to another Ground Control Station and Pilot in Command at the operations area. When the mission is complete the procedure is reversed and the UAV is landed back at the Salina Class D airport.


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