CATI Training Systems and Embry-Riddle to Build World-Class UAV Training Laboratory

CATI Training Systems has been awarded a contract to deliver eight X-TUAS™ ground control station (GCS) unmanned aerial systems training devices to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach, Fla., campus. The training devices will be part of the new CATI UAS Laboratory supporting the university’s new Bachelor of Science degree program in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Science.

The eight systems are each comprised of two stations for pilot and sensor operator training that are configurable as a dual station crew training system or as 16 individual training stations. The X-TUAS™ device is nearly identical to actual GCS operational systems used by defense, law enforcement, and research and development communities.

CATI President Fred Zalzal thanked the Embry-Riddle team headed by Dan Macchiarella, chair of aeronautical science, for selecting CATI and for providing an opportunity to build this world-class facility where both academic and research programs will have access to sophisticated modeling and simulation equipment.

“Our goal was to create a learning environment that provides maximum flexibility to the instructional staff and real-world training to allow students to gain a complete understanding of UAS operations, mission planning and procedures,” said Jim Williams, CATI’s manager for business development.
“We selected CATI’s training devices following a comprehensive study of available systems,” Macchiarella said. “CATI clearly offered the highest degrees of fidelity and value in its flight training devices. These systems will afford students with unique opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed.”

Embry-Riddle named the new laboratory after CATI in recognition of CATI’s major donation of four of the systems. This donation will allow the lab, located in the heart of in central Florida’s simulation and modeling community, to be fully operational in early 2012 at significantly reduced cost.

Open to U.S. citizens who have a basic background in math and physics, Embry-Riddle’s new degree in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science helps meet the growing demand for skilled UAS pilots and operators. The program focuses on the operations aspect of UAS, preparing students for such roles as pilot, observer, sensor operator, or operations administrator. The program offers a pilot track for students who are interested in flight operations from the pilot’s perspective and a non-pilot track for students seeking a career as a sensor operator or a support position.