Course Outline

ASCI 637 : Unmanned Aerospace Systems Operations and Payloads

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Last approved: Mon, 11 Jan 2016 17:20:55 GMT

Last edit: Mon, 11 Jan 2016 17:20:54 GMT

College of Aeronautics (WAERO)
Unmanned Aerospace Systems Operations and Payloads
This course focuses on the operational and payload capabilities of unmanned systems, including remotely operated and autonomous unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and unmanned space systems, under a variety of mission standards. Operational course content includes typical software and hardware installations, launch and recovery procedures, normal and emergency procedures, and the appropriate selection of payload based upon mission requirements. Students will research current and future payloads and sensor systems utilized in unmanned aircraft and space systems. An exploration of multi-mission payload applications and requirements, including state-of-the art, secure uplink and downlink telecommunications, signals intelligence, precision geo-location, airborne cellular network, and software-defined communications relay will be conducted.

This course explores the different operational functions of unmanned systems, including unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and unmanned space systems. Students will discover the various missions that are applicable for unmanned systems, such as for civilian functions, law enforcement, and military use. Civilian functions covered include remote sensing (environmental, farming, oil/mineral discovery, and firefighting), search and rescue, and aerial photography. Law enforcement utilities covered include surveillance, suspect pursuit, anti- terrorism, chemical, biological, and nuclear threat detection, emergency scene evaluation and monitoring, and border protection. Military functions studied are offensive, defensive, and support applications. Various launch and recovery methods will be surveyed so students can select the best platform based on mission constraints. Normal operational procedures such as takeoff/launch, climb, cruise, descent, and recovery/landing will be covered. Additionally, students will investigate emergency procedures, which include hardware failure, software failure, loss of control, and threat management. Students will be tasked with selecting the most appropriate unmanned platform based upon task requirements in real world scenarios. Students will also be introduced to the various civilian, law enforcement, and military payloads that are currently in use and under development. Commonly installed communication, surveillance, imagery, and weapon systems will be surveyed. Students will be required to match available payloads with an applicable platform based on the constraints of available unmanned aircraft or space systems and the mission requirements outlined in real world scenarios. Example unmanned systems currently in use will serve as case study examples of the matching of platform, hardware, software, and payload with mission provisions.

Upon course completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Analyze and evaluate the primary military and civilian missions of unmanned aircraft and space systems including differentiating which types of platforms would most effectively meet the requirements of such missions.

2. Evaluate the challenges of integrating UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS).

3. Compare and contrast different methods of unmanned systems launch and recovery.

4. Evaluate normal and emergency procedures commonly utilized in unmanned systems operations

5. Identify the potential unmanned platforms for use in consideration of mission requirements as well as launch and recovery logistics.

6. Analyze vehicle payload types and uses for individual mission requirements.

7. Differentiate the applicable types of unmanned system payloads, prioritizing mission requirements, to select the appropriate payload(s).

8. Analyze and evaluate real world mission requirements to best match platform and payload for a variety of mission constraints.

9. Describe and identify existing unmanned systems that may meet requirements outlined in real world mission tasks.

10. Demonstrate appropriate selection and application of a research method and statistical analysis (where required), specific to the course subject matter.

Located on the Daytona Beach Campus, the Jack R. Hunt Library is the primary library for all students of the Worldwide Campus. The Chief Academic Officer strongly recommends that every faculty member, where appropriate, require all students in his or her classes to access the Hunt Library or a comparable college-level local library for research. The results of this research can be used for class projects such as research papers, group discussion, or individual presentations. Students should feel comfortable with using the resources of the library. 

Web & Chat:
Text: (386) 968-8843
Library Phone:  (386) 226-7656 or (800) 678-9428


Written assignments must be formatted in accordance with the current edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) unless otherwise instructed in individual assignments.

ActivityPercent of Grade
Input Grading Item100

Undergraduate Grade Scale

90 - 100% A
80 - 89% B
70 - 79% C
60 - 69% D
0 - 60% F

Graduate Grade Scale

90 - 100% A
80 - 89% B
70 - 79% C
0 - 69% F
Dr. Patrick Ford - 3/1/2015
Dr. Brent Terwilliger - 3/1/2015
Dr. Ian McAndrew - 3/1/2015
Dr. Kenneth Witcher - 3/1/2015
Key: 164