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MVCC selected for drone training initiative

Posted 6/17/22

The Federal Aviation Administration has announced that Mohawk Valley Community College has been selected for its Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Collegiate training Initiative (UAS-CTI) program.

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MVCC selected for drone training initiative

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ROME — The Federal Aviation Administration has announced that Mohawk Valley Community College has been selected for its Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Collegiate training Initiative (UAS-CTI) program.

The collaboration will help the college deliver up-to-date training to match the requirements of the National Airspace System to students in the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) degree program, preparing them to be qualified candidates for lucrative careers in the field, according to an announcement by MVCC officials.

To qualify for the initiative, which will be in effect for three years, colleges must offer a bachelor’s or associate degree in UAS or a degree with a minor, concentration, or certificate in UAS. Schools must provide curriculum covering various aspects of UAS training, including hands-on flight practice, maintenance, uses, applications, privacy concerns, safety, and federal policies concerning UAS.

“We are only one a of a few colleges in the country that provides a comprehensive program in advanced RPAS technology, through which students acquire skills to design, build, test, fly, and apply remotely piloted aircraft,” said MVCC Professor Bill Judycki. “We are the only college in the country that trains students to fly both a sophisticated multirotor and fixed wing aircraft capable precision centimeter accuracy in photogrammetry and LIDAR, as well as flight training on a $250,000 flight simulator.”

MVCC’s RPAS program prepares students for emerging jobs in agriculture, inspection, and emergency services in the United States using the latest mapping and photogrammetry software (PIX4D) and remote sensing packages such as thermal, multispectral, and LiDar 3D. Students also use MVCC’s FABLab to explore modeling and fabrication of designs created using AutoCAD and learn about Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and remote sensing capabilities used in RPAS operations.

MVCC is a member of the NUAIR Alliance, a coalition of 200 entities working together to operate and oversee RPAS testing in three states. NUAIR Alliance is headquartered in Syracuse and supports the RPAS test site (one of only seven in the country) at Griffiss International Airport in Rome. Participation in this alliance keeps MVCC at the forefront of RPAS technology.

A National Science Foundation (NSF) award  is funding the work of MVCC, industry partners, and commercial end-users of RPAS to align specific job competencies for one-semester microcredentials. Additionally, the NSF award funded the purchase of a Microdrone mdLiDAR1000 and sensors that enable agriculture and infrastructure inspection, plus a supercomputer for flight data processing.

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