Short course participants will be able to build and fly their own drones

Short course participants will be able to build and fly their own drones


A new short course being offered in Southern Maryland is all about uncrewed aerial systems (UAS). Participants will learn about the verification process, as well as how to build and fly drones. “How to Build, Fly, and Verify Autonomous Aerial Systems” will be taught in the USMSM SMART Building by University of Maryland (UMD) faculty member Dr. Mumu Xu from July 10-14. Dr. Xu is an assistant professor with a joint appointment in Aerospace Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research. The UMD MATRIX Lab will host the course, with the support of the UMD UAS Research and Operations Center (UROC).

This course has been designed for professionals and students with a software background, but new to UAS-specific-hardware and software. Dr. Xu will explain the state of artificial intelligence and machine learning for autonomous systems. UROC Chief UAS Pilot Darren Robey and UROC UAS Test Engineer Josh Gaus will discuss the history, convention, and practical use of UAS in a research or commercial setting. They also will share lessons learned from past projects and operations. Participants will be able to build drones in the MATRIX Lab’s Project Assembly Area, and fly them in the Open Air-Land Lab. The course also will cover verification and validation for autonomous systems with learning-enabled components, and how they impact airworthiness.

“This is a great opportunity to learn about the current state of the art in aerial autonomy, to get hands-on experience in building and flying UAS, and to really understand what makes this topic so fascinating and challenging,” Dr. Xu said.

Both students and working professionals can apply to take the course. The cost is $1,000 per person. Upon successfully finishing, participants will earn a certificate of completion. The course also is eligible for Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits. For more information and to apply, click here.

The SMART Building, MATRIX Lab, and UROC are all part of the AeroPark Innovation District, an economic development hub centered around the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport. The district is at the southern end of the Maryland autonomy corridor, which is home to numerous government agencies, academic institutions, and industry partners focused on autonomy and uncrewed systems.

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April 28, 2023

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Dates: July 10-14, 2023

Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: USMSM SMART Building
Registration info:
Cost: $1,000 per person

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