The new program is designed to prepare students for civilian uses of UAVs. But don't expect to get a BS in UAVs quite yet: "Currently the unmanned systems operations program is a minor, but ISU hopes to expand it into a bachelor’s degree and a full-fledged master’s program."
SU officials demonstrated several unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) including a Draganflyer X6, a small remote controlled helicopter with video cameras attached, as well as an automated fixed wing craft with GPS.
In addition, ISU showcased its Recon Scout, a small camera attached to two wheels that looks like a dumbbell.
Terre Haute Police Chief John Plasse was excited about the potential of the Recon Scout for law enforcement purposes.
For instance in an active shooter or hostage situation, the Recon Scout could be thrown inside to give officers an idea of what is occurring. “It makes our job a little safer,” he said.
In addition to providing training for local agencies, ISU plans to offer the use of its UAVs.
The university will team up with the police department in April as part of a joint search and rescue exercise. Its UAVs could assist with locating lost children, bodies, or missing persons across vast terrain or in areas that are difficult to access, like wooded areas.
“There are many different aspects we could use that for in law enforcement,” Plasse said.
The program also has civilian uses. ISU plans to provide an agricultural group with infrared maps of farm fields to help detect areas where moisture is concentrated to boost production.
ISU is one of the few universities in the country that offers a program specializing in unmanned aerial systems.
Currently the unmanned systems operations program is a minor, but ISU hopes to expand it into a bachelor’s degree and a full-fledged master’s program.
The unmanned program is part of its Center for Crisis Leadership and Homeland Security, which was created last June.