The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Training Laboratory supports the Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems program. The program offers simulation and flight training using the UAV Factory Penguin C system.
During courses taught in the UAS Training Laboratory, students acquire knowledge of the fundamentals of unmanned flight, practice basic flight maneuvers and learn operating procedures required to pilot complex unmanned aircraft systems. The students receive training in safety awareness, single-remote pilot resource management and aeronautical decision-making. This laboratory also addresses advanced UAS application techniques and procedures. Students will complete UAS operations focused on payload employment after gaining proficiency in the UAS' flight management system.
UAS Simulation Bay, COA (College of Aviation) Room 133
The lab offers eight simulators linked with four instructor stations. The simulators allow ground control station software to connect to simulated unmanned aircraft for realistic flight and emergency procedures training. The simulators also feature a camera payload for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance exercises in a realistic virtual world with detailed scenarios. Video and aircraft telemetry are streamed live over the network to all simulators and to computer workstations for processing, exploitation and dissemination.
The UAS Training lab uses Collins Aerospace’s Piccolo Command Center Ground Control System (GCS) software for the user interface to the Piccolo autopilot and provides powerful flight planning and management. To accompany the Piccolo Command Center software, the simulators have UAV Factory's Penguin C Copilot software for Penguin C systems management and Octopus ISR Epsilon software for camera payload control. The lab also uses MetaVR's Virtual Reality Scene Generator for the simulated virtual world, scenario development and playback.
The UAS Training Lab simulators interconnect over the network using Distributed Interactive Simulation, an IEEE standard for real-time and prerecorded simulations, allowing local and remote simulation players to interact with the simulated unmanned aircraft.
UAS Maintenance Bay, AFSC (Advanced Flight Simulation Center) Room 122
In addition to simulation, the UAS Training lab has a workshop where students and staff work to troubleshoot, fix and maintain Embry-Riddle’s fleet of Penguin C aircraft. The workshop is fully equipped with tools, diagnostic equipment and workbenches. Students learn about Penguin C components by gaining real-world, hands-on experience with complex subsystems. Workshop activities include aircraft assembly, engine runs, parachute folding and packing, as well as conducting routine maintenance inspections.
UAS Mobile Ground Control Station
The Mobile GCS is at the core of the UAS Training program. Equipped with two workstations and roof-mounted tracking antennas, the Mobile GCS enables future operators to control complex UAS within the national airspace system. Runway independent and completely modular, Penguin C is designed to be flown from anywhere with minimum support. When fully deployed, the Mobile GCS and associated support equipment enable high-endurance, complex UAS operations.
- 5 Penguin C Unmanned Aircraft
- 3 Tracking Antenna
- 2 Electro-optical payloads
- 2 Pneumatic Catapults
- 1 Mobile GCS
- 1 Maintenace Support Trailer (MST)
- 1 Habitation Unit