Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have become increasingly popular in recent years, with a wide range of applications in civil, commercial, and military operations. From law enforcement and firefighting to border patrol and disaster relief, UAS are being used around the world to perform essential tasks more quickly and efficiently. The University of North Dakota (UND) was one of the first institutions selected for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)'s new university training initiative for UAS, and is now the first four-year undergraduate program in operations from UAS to receive accreditation from the International Aviation Accreditation Board (AABI).UAS are particularly useful for missions that require sustained endurance efforts, such as search and rescue operations. They can also provide superior capabilities in certain scenarios, such as when physical infrastructure limitations prohibit the use of manned aircraft.
In addition, UAS are being used to reduce the time and labor needed to perform essential tasks related to agriculture. For example, the Mine Kafon Drone is an unmanned aerial demining system that uses a three-step process to map, detect, and detonate landmines in an autonomous way. At UND, students have the opportunity to gain experience working in a crew environment as a pilot, sensor operator, or other key member of the UAS team. Flights take place regularly in which UND flight students fly together with unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System. This ongoing collaboration with the FAA will further ensure that UND students are qualified to start careers related to UAS. The Secretary of Defense's policy memorandum entitled Guide to the Domestic Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the United States sets out policy guidance for the use of UAS domestically.
This policy guidance is designed to ensure that UAS are used safely and responsibly for a variety of missions. In conclusion, UAS have revolutionized certain tasks by providing a cost-effective and efficient alternative to manned aircraft. From law enforcement and firefighting to border patrol and disaster relief, UAS are being used around the world for civil, commercial and military applications.