Little Arms Studios, a leading developer of professional-grade simulation solutions, unveiled new partnerships with premier unmanned aerial systems training programs at colleges and universities throughout the United States. As UAVs continue to become more ubiquitous in nearly every industry, students are seeking degree programs throughout the educational landscape which can provide them with a competitive advantage in post-graduate hiring for fields as diverse as law enforcement, industrial inspection, agriculture, cinematography and more. As institutions develop UAS curricula, Little Arms Studios’ Zephyr Drone Simulator has become a relied-upon training tool within these programs.
While students study requisite scientific skills associated with UAV operations, such as aerodynamics, propulsions and sensor technologies, tangible flight skills are central to any UAS degree. The progressive training curriculum and real-life flight physics built into the Zephyr Drone Simulator make it the ideal starting point for novice UAS pilots. The simulator establishes a natural skill progression taking students from simulation to real aircraft quickly and confidently. Zephyr also incorporates more advanced, purpose-built modules catering to the precision skills necessary for high demand UAV applications. For example, a recent addition to Zephyr includes training modules developed with award-winning Hollywood cinematographer, Skip Fredricks, which teach the core cinematic skills shooting drone-mounted video content. Little Arms Studios has also been working with partners in the telecommunications field to develop modules that drill the precision skills necessary for cell phone tower inspection.
For instructors, Zephyr features a proprietary Learning Management System (LMS) which allows them to easily assign, review and assess students’ skills. Instructors can ensure proficiency in elements ranging from basic flight skills to advanced techniques, even throwing weather shifts into the mix while Zephyr helps the pilot adhere to FAA regulations. With detailed analytics reports from the Zephyr LMS module, instructors can quickly and easily pinpoint the skills that require improvement for each student.
At Creighton University in Nebraska, where drones are increasingly being applied to land management and agricultural practices, the University’s Research and Development Lab (the RaD Lab) is leading the way with its Drone Badge Program. Ideal for students, faculty, staff and community members hoping to learn more about drone applications, the intensive five-week program readies students for the FAA Part 107 examination, before diving into the Zephyr Drone Simulator to refine their capabilities leading up to an actual, on-site drone flight from the local airport.
Beyond the benefits Zephyr brings to students, the University’s program directors also found Little Arms Studios to be a valuable partner as they formulated the Drone Badge Program. With the drone simulator platform serving as such an essential learning tool for students, the Creighton University team partnered with Little Arms Studios for its responsive service and ability to quickly customize the Zephyr Drone Simulator to the program’s specific needs.
At another early-adopter, Cloud County Community College in North Central Kansas, administrators are incorporating the flight training curriculum into numerous degree programs including its Wind Energy Technology and Precision Agriculture offerings. Throughout these programs, instructors are able to maximize their flight training and impart students with the necessary confidence to make the transition to complex UAV operations.
“Zephyr has given us the opportunity to introduce both high school and college students to the necessary flight operation skills to master drone flight. Each of the students has their own transmitter and can log onto their own computer at any time to sharpen their skills,” said Monte Poersch, Wind Energy Instructor and Advisor at Cloud County Community College. “The benefit of the LMS for grading student flight performance is an invaluable time saver for the instructor. Students that have never flown a remotely controlled aircraft have expressed how much the simulator helped their confidence before attempting to fly a real UAV.”
To learn more about the Zephyr Drone Simulator, including the customized enterprise packages being deployed at colleges and universities throughout the country, please visit: https://www.zephyr-sim.com.
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