Unmanned Systems

  • The global drone market was at $100B in 2020 and growing at over 20% annually.

  • The average drone industry salary in Utah in 2021 was $55,000 and the median salary for full-time pilots in the US was $75,000.

  • Energy remains the industry with the highest adoption of drones, though Cargo, Courier Services, Intralogistics and Warehousing have the highest Compound Annual Growth Rate for drone use.

  • Mapping & Surveying is and will remain the top application of drones, followed by Inspection, Photography, and Filming.

  • Unit sales will grow from 828 thousand in 2021 to almost 1.4 million in 2026 at 10.6% Compound Annual Growth Rate.

  • In a 2021 survey of realtors, 56% claimed to already utilize drone services and 26% had plans to implement them in the next 2 years.

Introductory Drone Courses

Introductory Drone courses prepare students for the FAA Part 107 test that allows them to be hired as a pilot or to start their own drone services enterprise, help students learn basic flight and Crew Resource Management skills, to work effectively as a team, conduct maintenance, and the design and fabrication of drone components. Drone pilots and technicians are in high demand in the private sector and in the military. This course block is a great first step down the road to a career in the aviation industry.

Drone Pilot and Drone Maintenance and Design are taught concurrently as a course block.

Drone Pilot and Flight Lab

This course is like Driver’s Ed…for the sky. Students learn basic maneuvers and best practices for flying a drone both commercially and recreationally. The course culminates in students taking the FAA Part 107 test which is required for professional work with drones and is a prerequisite for the Advanced Drone Courses. Content covered includes federal regulations, airspace classifications and map reading, meteorology, Crew Resource Management, teamwork, and professional communication.

The flight lab will work to develop student flight skills in several drone platforms and engage them in a flight competition of their choice. Emphasis is placed on logging flight hours, developing piloting skills, and flying in varying conditions.

1 semester course
Prerequisite: Students must be 16 years old to take the FAA Part 107 test.

Drone Maintenance, Design and Flight Lab

This is a course designed to help students understand both the physical maintenance work of maintaining a small, unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) as well as the documentation considerations involved in any type of aircraft maintenance. Students learn basic concepts of sUAS design and construction. Students build a drone in this class and participate in a design challenge using this same aircraft.

The flight lab will work to develop student flight skills in several drone platforms and engage them in a flight competition of their choice. Emphasis is placed on logging flight hours, developing piloting skills, and flying in varying conditions.

1 semester course
Prerequisite: none

Advanced Drone Courses

Advanced applications for drones may include Photogrammetry, Geographic Information Systems, autonomous single and swarm flight, and other industry applications of drones. This course block develops relationships with local business partners so that they can be better prepared to be a pilot, software or hardware designer, or to analyze and assess the data acquired by drones. Pilots may have opportunities to complete projects in mapping, real estate, construction, photography and film production, mining, military industries, agriculture, transportation, public service, research, and inspection.

UAV Lab: Industry Applications

This is a student interest-driven, project-based class where students may explore topics such as Aerial Photography, GIS, LIDAR, Thermography, Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing, and UAV Delivery. Students may learn the different aspects of aerial photography and photogrammetry that include photomosaic and orthomosaic maps, point clouds, and video creation as well as professional skills like project management, professional communication, and collaboration. Students will plan missions and fly both quadcopter and fixed wing style drones.

UAV Applications 1 & 2 are offered as a block concurrently. Available starting Jan. 2022

1 semester course
Prerequisite: DSD Drone Pilot Course or Part 107 License

UAV Capstone

Profession-based learning projects, Whole Mission focus, entrepreneurial mindset, resume building, enterprise-level products. Students will seek out projects and professional experiences and market their acquired skill sets.

UAV Capstone is offered as a set, concurrently with UAV Lab: Industry Applications.

1 semester course
Prerequisite: DSD Drone Pilot Course and Part 107 License