3DR Helps Students Get the Most of Their Learning Experiences at UND


Ben Trapnell

The 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.