The wide distribution and demographic composition of students seeking small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) education presents a need to fully understand the capabilities, limitations, and dependencies of effective training tools. Concepts, practices, and technologies associated with modeling and simulation, immersive gaming, augmented and mixed-reality, and remote operation have demonstrated efficacy to support engaged student learning and objective satisfaction. Identification and comparison of key attributes critical to an aviation educational framework, such as competency-based training, enables educational designers to identify those tools with the highest potential to support successful learning. A series of factors, such as system performance, regulatory compliance, environmental conditions, technological familiarity, and personal experience, require consideration in the selection, optimization, and application of such tools. Embry-Riddle and the Sinclair College National UAS Training and Certification Center have overseen the development, launch, and sustainment of respective sUAS education programs. Effectiveness of these programs is dependent on continuous evaluation of tools, specific to educational settings. A relevant example was the assessment of popular multirotor sUAS conducted by ERAU-W, which led to publication of the “Small Unmanned Aircraft System Consumer Guide” and selection of the Parrot BeBop 2 platform to support sUAS operations curricula. The intent of this work is to present critical considerations, including influencing factors and dependencies, associated with the selection and adoption of technological tools best supporting sUAS education. Background details; emerging approaches, models, and technologies; and examples of past tool evaluation, inclusive of assessment criteria and observations, are discussed. Finally, a series of reflective remarks, including recommendations, relating to evaluation, adaptation, and incorporation of future tools supporting sUAS education are presented.
Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) 2019
Number of Pages
Scholarly Commons Citation
Terwilliger, B, Burgess, S, Solti, James, Kiernan, Kristine, Janke, Christian, & Shepherd, Andrew. (2019). Evaluation of sUAS Education and Training Tools (paper no. 19136). In Volume 2019: Proceedings of the 2019 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC). Arlington, VA: National Training and Simulation Association.