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US colleges train students in drone warfare as job opportunities beckon
Published time: September 18, 2013 03:45
Edited time: September 19, 2013 11:01
A growing number of US universities now offer degree programs for students hoping to study the military technology of the future: drones. Flying an unmanned aerial device is now a viable career in a world of growing surveillance and fewer job options.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida became the first American university to offer postgraduate education in drone warfare this autumn, opening a program that promises students job security right after school - when many of their friends could be moving back in with their parents.
Drones are most often in the headlines for eliminating suspected terrorists in Yemen and regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and more controversially for inadvertently killing civilians in those countries. But the technology has also become increasingly popular with police patrolling international borders, environmentalists studying oceanic regions, and meteorologists observing hurricane patterns.
Students who complete the six-month training program at Embry-Riddle will graduate with a master’s degree and job prospects offering a starting salary of US$150,000 a year.
“We’re trying to prepare our students so they’re ready to operate at the highest levels,” Dan Maccharella, department chair of aeronautical sciences at Embry-Riddle, told AP. “It’s going to take off like a rocket. We had students go through the program as fast as they could to get out there.”
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations
B.S. in Aeronautics with a Major in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations
The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations curriculum is offered to those students whose career objectives are aimed at the civil unmanned aircraft systems industry. The program provides the breadth and depth of instruction needed to ensure graduates are prepared to work as pilots/operators and/or developmental team members of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) while fully understanding the operational and safety environments of the National Airspace System. Courses require students to be comfortable utilizing complex science, technology, engineering and mathematics principles. In addition, students must possess strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills. A Commercial Pilot Certificate, with instrument and multiengine ratings is required.
As some of the technologies involved with UAS fall under International Traffic in Arms Regulations, students wishing to pursue this degree program must be able to prove United States citizenship prior to enrolling in the following courses: AVIT 331, 332, 333, 334 and 338. There are no exceptions to this policy.
•UND Official Catalog Information
•Essential Studies Requirements
Looking for a college major? How about drone technology
Sydney Kashiwagi, USA TODAY 4:37 p.m. EST January 2, 2014
The controversial use of drones in business and everyday life is leading to more and more interest on an academic level
In March, 47-year-old Stephen Myers ditched the information technology company that he built from the ground up and went back to school.
His choice of study? Drone technology. He's now earning a specialized degree from the Unmanned Vehicle University in Arizona. Myers is taking an online course on how to control a drone's sensors and electronics, and he hopes to build a new commercial drone business.
"I think that something a lot of people don't understand is that when people think of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), they think of drones spying on them," said Myers, who lives in Naples, Fla. "What they don't realize, or what they don't understand, are all the other applications."
Drones are already being tested by companies like Amazon, which hope to use them to deliver packages, and Domino's in the United Kingdom even wants them to deliver pizza. "There is almost no industry that you can think of that can't benefit from UAVs," said Myers.
Though no one is physically onboard, Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) have pilots and crew members located within control centers that are often thousands of miles away. As members of the crew on MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper vehicles, RPA Sensor Operators employ airborne sensors and sophisticated video imagery equipment to monitor airborne, maritime and ground objects.
UAS OperatorSpecific Tasks:
Conduct reconnaissance and surveillance of potential targets and areas of interest
Discriminate between valid and invalid targets using radar, electro-optical, low-light, infrared video imagery and other tracking systems
Assist RPA pilots through all phases of mission
originally posted by: DodgyDawg
a reply to: ElectricUniverse
Calm down, I'm sure that after WWI tons of people would have thought that aeroplanes were only really useful to the military, the truth is that the military had the funding, technology and need for aircraft in new military applications. Now we use planes for loads of things transport, aerial photography, ambulances, police vehicles etc...
Barack Obama 'has authority to use drone strikes to kill Americans on US soil'
President Barack Obama has the authority to use an unmanned drone strike to kill US citizens on American soil, his attorney general has said.
Eric Holder argued that using lethal military force against an American in his home country would be legal and justified in an "extraordinary circumstance" comparable to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
"The president could conceivably have no choice but to authorise the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland," Mr Holder said.
His statement was described as "more than frightening" by Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, who had demanded to know the Obama administration's position on the subject.