Benjamin Trapnell's Posts (2)

I love this time of year...

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Be it the fall, or the spring, I welcome this time of year.  Teaching unmanned aircraft systems operations at the University of North Dakota is a lot of work.  This time of year, however, makes it all worth while.  It's the time when my students have completed their multi-rotors after having studied the components from a systems-engineering perspective.  And these young men and women are not engineers.  They are pilots that truly believe that knowledge, skills and professional attitudes are needed in this wonderful world of emerging UAS technology.  This semester, I had 14 undergrads and one graduate student taking my Systems of the Unmanned Aircraft (AVIT-331) course.  The accompanying photo shows them after having built their 3DR Y-6s.  All of them, contrary to popular belief, will have soloed their aircraft and will have completed a flight test and written system evaluation as part of the course by the time grades are due. It has been, and continues to be, my extreme pleasure to work with these enthusiastic young (or not so young) men and women.

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  3689562396?profile=originalThe University of North Dakota has been at the forefront of UAS Operations education since 2009.With more than 130 students enrolled, and having more than 50 graduates to date, the program is continuing to advance the nature of Unmanned Aircraft Operations education. 

This semester, another fifteen students at UND had their first introduction to the myriad systems that make up unmanned aircraft systems.  Building and flying their first unmanned aircraft (3DR Quadrotor), these students were able to experience hands-on integration of the essential systems common to nearly all unmanned aircraft.  While not engineers, the students learned valuable lessons (theory, too) about open and closed-loop controls, propulsion systems, aircraft and rotorcraft aerodynamics, potential energy systems, systems monitoring, ground control interfaces, flight planning and communications.  Their hands-on experiences are proving to be the single-greatest avenue for introduction to complex technologies and their integration to form capable complex systems.

Thanks to 3DRobotics for helping make this learning experience possible.

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