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Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) – Key Concepts and Best Practices for New Users is a Course

Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) – Key Concepts and Best Practices for New Users

Ended Dec 2, 2018

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Full course description

Course Date:

Nov 19 - Dec 2, 2018


2 weeks


2-4 hrs/week



Course Type:





This two-week MOOC covers key concepts related to small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), including basic types, characteristics, applications and current and future uses. It is designed for users with commercial, private/recreational, and public and educational interest in sUAS applications. Specific importance is placed on safety of flight within the National Airspace System (NAS), including where to fly and where to find flight planning tools. The MOOC also introduces the Federal Aviation Regulations that cover commercial operations of sUAS (known as FAR Part 107), providing participants with the knowledge and resources to pursue further training, should they wish to become commercial sUAS pilots. We will also address challenges such as Cyber Security, privacy and data protection.


Upon successful completion of all components of the course, you should be able to:

  • Describe the basic types of sUAS and their capabilities.
  • Discuss the sUAS operating environment, including the National Airspace System (NAS).
  • Discover the basic dos and don'ts of sUAS/recreational drone operations.
  • Identify regulatory requirements for remote pilot certifications.
  • Recognize requirements for planning safe sUAS flights.

Target Audience: This course is ideal for anyone new to small unmanned aircraft systems who wants to learn to operate confidently and safely.

Course is offered by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Course Instructors

Christian Janke

Christian Janke


Christian Janke is an Assistant Professor and Program Chair for the Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Systems Applications at Embry Riddle Aeronautical Universities Worldwide Campus. Read More.

He is a trainer for Human Factors & Crew Resource Management, instructor for Safety Management and Risk Assessment in Aviation and Auditor for Quality Management. Also, he has been in military service as a helicopter pilot.

His current research focus is on Unmanned Aircraft Systems and their airspace integration. In his work he assesses the performance and suitability of several technologies as hardware element in upcoming UTM solutions. Looking at the air-risk side, his focus is on the performance and suitability evaluation of systems and components for tracking purposes and Detect-and-Avoid.

In the field of UAS, he also focuses on aerial robotics and the regulatory environment for specific applications.

Nicole Bier

Nicole Bier


A new addition to the MOOC team is Nicole Bier—the Associate Program Chair for Masters of Science in Unmanned Systems degree. Read More.

Nicole served in the U.S. Air Force and as a civilian for the U.S. Army. Her areas of interests include unmanned systems and counter-unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Her background is in procurement, security, global crimes, and counterterrorism. She is a Ph.D. Candidate researching situation awareness levels during shift change in medium altitude long-endurance UAS. Along with answering questions about material in this MOOC, Nicole is happy to answer questions about career opportunities in unmanned systems and the MSUS program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.