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Published February 17, 2011, 06:23 PM

UND Helps Air Force Develop New UAS Training Program

The University of North Dakota is using an advanced simulator for Unmanned Aerial Systems provided by the Air Force.

The simulator mimics the controls of a MQ-9 Reaper, which both the Air Force and Border Patrol fly.

"Any pilot who has any experience would be able to jump on this and understand the concepts of the aircraft," said UND flight instructor Trevor Woods.

Woods has been training to use the remotely-operated vehicle Adaptable Training and Tracking System.

Students and staff at UND are helping the Air Force and Border Patrol come up with a training Curriculum for their pilots.

"What this program will do will hopefully train them in a shorter period of time at less expense and hopefully a better operator at the end," said John Bridewell, Assistant Instructor for UND Aerospace.

UND is currently using three of these $100,000 ROVATT Systems and is the backbone for Air Force UAS Research.

"In fact when they come with a new way or program that they want to check out with this ROVATTS, they will be sending it to the University of North Dakota where we are going to try it out and give them the feedback to what works and what doesn't work," said Bridewell.

Woods says the ROVATTS is just like a plane simulator but it acts more like a computer.

"It is a computer system still, you still need to input commands and it's not just switches and levers anymore, it is typing out instructions," said Woods.

Bridewell says it may take years before they can come up with a suitable training program.

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