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A Program for Managing Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Engineering Education

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Design Courses 2, Aerospace Assets

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Richard Melnyk United States Military Academy Orcid 16x16

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COL Rich Melnyk is an Army Aviator and Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point. He is also the Director of the Academic Flight program leading both the manned and unmanned aircraft programs. He has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering, a PE in Mechanical Engineering, an MBA in Technology Management and commanded a Battalion at Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Georgia.

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Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are an increasingly important aspect of technology. As a result, they have become an increasingly important tool in Engineering Education for a variety of engineering disciplines. While many physical laboratories or training aids have regulatory and administrative requirements, the considerations related to UAS are multifaceted and include Federal Aviation Regulations, airspace requirements, and privacy considerations. Furthermore, UAS pose a physical hazard that must be taken into account to protect students, staff, faculty, and bystanders. Finally, some systems could potentially present a cybersecurity risk as evidenced by recent additions to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The purpose of this paper is to explain and document an academic flight program at the INSTITUTION. The paper describes the personnel structure associated with running the program, the procedures put in place to manage physical and regulatory risk, and the training and approval process associated with UAS operations.

Melnyk, R. (2021, July), A Program for Managing Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36602

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