Unmanned Aircraft System Fundamentals

Course Length:



This is a two-day course in which students will receive an overview in unmanned aircraft systems covering the basics through complex systems of UAS. Learn the many applications and uses of UAS in the defense and commercial sectors. Students receive up to date information on the changing landscapes of UAS from military to civilian operations. Learn about military systems (Predator, Shadow, Puma and more) and how civilians are using drones (agriculture, mapping, photography, inspection, and research) in the unmanned systems industry. Learn about the software that civilians use for mapping, learn how to use mission planner to create missions, logbooks, and documentation and which regulations are applicable.

What you will learn:


  • Survey of Unmanned Aircraft Systems
  • Major Manufacturers Civilian and Defense
  • Latest Technologies Including Swarm and Traffic Management
  • Types of Applications and Uses of Aerial Vehicles
  • Regulatory Issues in the National Airspace System
  • Daily Operations Including Maintenance, Application and Usability
  • Systems, Components and Advanced Manufacturing


In this course you will gain the knowledge to understand the different types of UAS and their application uses. With this course you will be able to evaluate what type of systems work best for a specific application and how to obtain the best results.


Course Outline:

  1. History of UAS
    • Where did drones come from?
    • The first types of drones
    • History of remote sensing
  2. Categories and Flight Capabilities
    • Fixed Wing
    • Multicotpers
    • VTOL
  3. Military Usage
    • The need to automate the battlefield
    • Keeping pilots out of harms reach
    • Forward observation
    • Mission Planning
  4. Applications of Civil Use
    • Agriculture
    • Utilities Inspection
    • Mapping
    • Emergency Response
    • Photography
  5. Vehicles
    • Airframe
    • Motors
    • Batteries
    • Electronics
    • Software
  6. Civil Manufacturers
    • Hardware
    • DJI
    • 3DR
    • Precision Hawk
    • Parrot
    • Software
    • Pix4D
    • Drone Deploy
    • Mission Planner
  7. Mapping and GIS
    • Using mapping to obtain data points
    • Gathering good data
    • Rendering and computer issues
    • Data storage
  8. Regulatory Issues
    • Documentation
    • Licensing
    • Registration
    • Market Forecasts
  9. Cost Analysis
    • What platform to use?
    • How much lift can be produced?
    • How long can you fly?
    • Research
    • Development
    • Manufacturing
    • Maintenance
  10. Future Uses
    • Swarm
    • Telecomm
    • High Altitude Atmosats
    • Package Delivery


REGISTRATION:  There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course.   We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING:  If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or ati@aticourses.com. Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time.   To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at ati@aticourses.com.

For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at ati@aticourses.com.


  • Rob Thompson is a 3rd generation commercial pilot, from a family of general aviation pilots who have operated as a repair, inspection and certification station for +70 years. Rob has a passion for technology and anything that flies, as a pilot selection developer he wrote and designed pilot training systems for small turbine aircraft conducting ISR operations. The program was an expansion of his thesis on pilot selection developing good pilots. Rob also has a technical writing background preparing white papers, technical guides and proposals for one of the first sUAS companies for defense contractors. Rob is currently a UAS advocate and represents multiple firms in Washington DC on UAS legislation and as a technical consultant to companies entering the market. Rob is also an independent sales consultant for Precision Hawk and an adjunct professor in the Virginia Community College System and instructor in the safe practices of UAS. As a social media influencer he stays abreast of current UAS events.

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