The University of North Dakota (UND) is using Boeing subsidiary Insitu’s ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in its aeronautics and unmanned aircraft systems operations BSc programme.

The UAV, which features low personnel requirements, portability, runway independence, ‘persistent stare’ daytime and night-time imagery, and 24-hour flight endurance, will enable students to learn how to use the equipment and participate in research activities.

The university plans to integrate the ScanEagle system into its curriculum and allow students to fly the system against a radar test bed, while learning to operate the UAS itself after receiving approval from the US Air Force.

Insitu business development executive Paul McDuffee said that unmanned aircraft systems are the latest advance in aviation technology and will play an increasingly significant role in worldwide aviation.

“Complementary post-secondary education programmes established to educate and train students for careers in the rapidly developing UAS industry are critical,” he said.

“The University of North Dakota’s programme will bring tremendous value to the UAS industry.”