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University System of Maryland

Drones and Autonomous Systems I: Fundamentals

University System of Maryland via edX


Are you interested in learning about drones, be it casual or in-depth? You can use this course to gain insight into the basic elements of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) drone systems used in civilian missions and into Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

This course introduces unmanned aerial systems (UAS) including drones and autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) with sensors including those for obstacle avoidance, other instruments, and payloads that rely on complex algorithms and have various uses.

No previous knowledge of drones, flying systems, autonomous technology, or flying experience is required. Join us as you start your drone journey.

Taught by instructors with decades of experience in drone technology applications in combat and civilian operations, systems design, and emergency management planning, this course will equip analysts and operational experts with the technical and planning knowledge for emergency planning and other applications.


DRO1.1x Fundamentals of Drones and Autonomous Systems

Week 1: History and Introduction

Week 2: Critical Technologies and Requirements

Week 3: Technical Performance

Week 4: Making a Business Case

Week 5: Regulatory Framework (including Risk, Safety, Security, Policy)

Week 6: Future of Drone Systems

Taught by

Irmak Renda-Tanali, D.Sc., Brian Powers, M.A. and Barry Douglass, Ph.D.

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