Unmanned autonomous systems (UAS) are high-tech, intelligent machines capable of traveling by air, land, or sea without a human crew on board. Thanks to advanced computing, sensing, and electronic technologies and mechanical design, UAS are versatile machines able to maneuver in diverse - and sometimes dangerous - environments. A UAS could go into the heart of a storm or a spreading wildfire to monitor threats to human lives and property or travel through remote areas to gather environmental data. Other applications of UAS included mapping and data collection, hazardous waste inspection, search and rescue and entertainment.
Emerging UAS technology is affordable, giving small businesses and individuals the opportunity to customize it for a seemingly endless variety of applications. Nevada offers a unique opportunity for both students and industry interested in investing in UAS, with a history of supporting UAS initiatives and a number of civilian and military resources for research and development.
The emerging UAS industry requires highly-educated individuals who understand the fundamental in terms of design, engineering, operations, and interpreting related data. To this end, the objective of the interdisciplinary UAS minor is to provide students with the skills and experiences that will help them better apply the knowledge gained in their majors to specialized problems in the field of UAS.
The interdisciplinary program in UAS is open to all students in the Departments of Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Biomedical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.
Students are required to design a plan of study for this minor (i.e., their selection of courses that satisfy the minor’s requirements) and submit the plan for approval by an advisor from the major program, and the UAS minor program. This plan of study is designed to help ensure that students receive appropriate advising, and therefore must be approved at least two semesters prior to graduation.
The coursework requirements for the UAS minor are as follows:
A minimum of 18 units of coursework from the list must be completed. Substitutions for courses on this list (example: a similar Special Topics course) must be approved by the Director of the UAS minor program. Of the 18 units, a minimum of 9 units must be from upper-division courses (300 or 400 level), and approved by the Director of the UAS minor program. At most, 9 of the 18 units can be used toward the student’s major.