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Kansas State University expands unmanned aircraft programsKansas State University expands unmanned aircraft programs

Kansas State University Salina will offer a new Bachelor of Science degree in engineering technology with an unmanned aircraft systems option, along with a new UAS minor with both a flight operations focus and a data acquisition and management focus.

The new bachelor’s degree will concentrate on the design and implementation of unmanned systems. It was added to complement the existing aeronautical technology bachelor’s degree in UAS, which is centered on piloting and field operations. Coursework will combine UAS technology with computer science, electronic engineering, and mechanical engineering. Enrollees in the new program will be required to explore the intricacies of how unmanned aircraft function, including their software and data, sensors and actuator, and camera systems. Students will not be required to take flight instruction or obtain pilot certificates.

The creation of the unmanned aircraft systems minor is intended for students outside of the UAS program or students from other universities looking to supplement their education, the university said. The minor has two areas of emphasis: air vehicle operations, which requires at least a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating; and a data acquisition and management focus.

“When most people think of an unmanned system they usually envision the pilot, not the engineers who design, build and keep it operating properly,” said Saeed Khan, K-State Salina engineering technology associate professor, in a media release. “But the growing UAS industry needs graduates who have technical expertise and a passion for problem-solving. Previously, students would have to double major if they wanted to focus on the engineering side of unmanned systems, but this new program will give them an integrated education without added hours or costs.” For more information on either program, see the website.

Topics: Pilot Training and Certification

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