UAS Advanced Training Programmes – Technology for Tomorrow, Today


ITPS (International Test Pilots School) delivers high-quality Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Test and Evaluation courses to industry and military air arms worldwide. Operational pilots and engineers who will be involved in the testing of UAS receive a foundational programme in UAS technology, flight operations and the principles and techniques of flight tests as well as developing UAS Flight Testing organizations and process.

Our instructors have over 70 years of combined experience with unmanned aerial vehicle testing and technology engineering. With solid military and civil UAS operational and development backgrounds, our instructors deliver progressive and bespoke courses with hands-on and on-line elements, making learning easy and accessible. In front of technology developments, ITPS has provided programmes for over six military organizations and industry aerospace clients.

Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) have ever growing uses in many fields. Lowering costs and increasing human capabilities, this technology has civil uses such as increasing safe access for media in collecting information and supporting law enforcement, in search and rescue and surveillance objectives. Militaries worldwide are developing their capabilities by using RPA in defence operations such as Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) and Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions.

ITPS provides flight test training to organisations looking to deploy or expand their UAS operations. The complexity and high cost of vehicle product development requires advanced training for operators in flight testing methodology, Flight Test Instrumentation (FTI), project management, data reduction and analysis and reporting. Practical experience of UAV flight tests and flight test management augments evaluating performance, handling and human-machine interface (HMI) characteristics and learning for associated sensors and systems. Additional topics include regulations and EASA/NATO/military standards in Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) for airworthiness, powerplant testing, Command Control and Communications (C3), datalink budget strategies, payloads and other test planning as well as Range Safety and risk management.

David Cooke, Chief Pilot/Instructor UAS Flight Test Training, says, “ITPS is customer-oriented, and our programmes are flexible in length and curriculum to meet customer requirements. We are continuously bringing in more practical operations exercises and developing relevant new sensor testing technology.” ITPS has welcomed students from Austrlian, South Korean and German military and private industry UAV developers such as Lilium and Pipistrel. Short courses by distance learning are available on the ITPS website with optional weeks of flying in Canada. All UAS programmes are customizable to individual organisation requirements.

Creating technology for tomorrow, ITPS has developed a Manned Remotely Piloted Aircraft (MRPA) that allows our training to include ground control beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights in controlled airspace that would otherwise not be allowed during UAS flight training. The MRPA can be operated as an unmanned aircraft and be flown from the ground on fully representable Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) missions. With 5 cameras on board, MRPA carries a sophisticated EO/IR/laser suite of sensors including a Laser Range Finder (LRF) and an onboard Ethernet downlink that carries all video and communications signals on a multiplexed 10Mbps downlink at 2.2Ghz. Ongoing research at ITPS includes mobile communications tracker testing and an electric motor/propeller efficiency lab.

The trailer mounted mobile Ground Control Station (GCS) is self-contained and self-sufficient. It can be deployed to almost any remote location and allows for both real-world and simulated MALE missions of the MRPA to be planned, executed and analysed for a multitude of operational or sensor performance parameters. For organisations looking to increase their UAS capability, ITPS provides comprehensive, flexible, and cost-effective training.

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