Federal Aviation Administration Awards nearly $2.6M in Drone Grants to Universities

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will give nearly $2.6 million in grants to universities for research into drones. The FAA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation, said the universities will comprise the agency’s Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems(AUS), also known as the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE).

According to the FAA, there are 1.7 million drones in the AUS fleet, which is expected to grow to 2.2 million by 2023. The grants are for enhancing the safe and successful integration of drones into American airspace.

“The research funded by these grants will provide valuable data as the Department leads the way to chart a course for the safe integration of drones into our national airspace,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said. “In addition to providing grants, we are also supporting activities that provide operational experience like the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program, all of which move us more quickly toward full integration.”

The four different grants are provided for specific projects and goals. Grants were distributed to 14 universities across the country, including the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Source: Federal Aviation Administration awards nearly $2.6M in drone grants to universities – Transportation Today

What is NCCER? – Alaska Safety Alliance

What is NCCER?

  • A not-for-profit education foundation created in 1996 as The National Center for Construction Education and Research (dba.NCCER). It was developed with the support of more than 125 construction CEO’s, associations, and academic leaders who come together to transform training for the construction industry. Twenty-four years ago, NCCER started with just 5 content areas and now twenty-four years later they have developed curricula for more than 70 craft areas and completed a series of more than 70 assessments offered in over 6,000 NCCER-accredited training assessment locations across the United States.
  • NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curriculum and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s Registry System that allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.
  • NCCER’s workforce development process of accreditation , instructor certification. standardized curriculum, registry, assessment, and certification is a key component in the industry’s workforce development efforts. NCCER also drives multiple initiatives to enhance career development and recruitment efforts for the industry, primarily through its Build Your Future initiative. http://www.BYF.org

Read the full blog post here.

Source: What is NCCER? – Alaska Safety Alliance

Smoke and Gears

Greg Perez, a diesel power technology student, works on an engine during a fall 2017 class. (Photo by James Evans / University of Alaska Anchorage)

For the past three semesters, diesel power technology students have been busy fixing a donated fire engine in the UAA garage. So while some students claim their class projects are life-or-death, this one actually qualifies.

“Every piece has to work together perfectly or else you have a catastrophic failure,” said Ben Stewart, a diesel student who worked on the fire engine.

The stakes are high because the donated truck will return to service with the Seldovia Volunteer Fire Department. It’s a beneficial partnership: students gain valuable experience, while a small community gains a valuable emergency vehicle.

“These are great real-world projects for our students,” noted Darrin Marshall, director of the Department of Automotive and Diesel Technology.

The engine in question originally served the Anchorage Fire Department until it overheated at a rescue call. Department mechanics determined that, in a city with nearly 300,000 tax payers, it was better to replace the older engine than repair it. A community like Seldovia, though, with 0.1 percent of Anchorage’s population, would really benefit from a donation like this.

Read the full article here.

Source: Smoke and gears – Green & Gold News

Studying Horsepower in the Digital Age

HorsepowerJustin Gentz loves to go fast. He built his first engine when he was a sophomore in high school. Now, through UAA’s GM Automotive Service Educational Program, Gentz is learning to work on the latest in automotive technology — including some very fast cars.

Watch the short video here.

Source: Studying horsepower in the digital age – Green & Gold News

UAF Offers Drone Check-Outs to Students in Pilot Program

Drone popularity has been sky high – and just this week, drone enthusiasts at UAF made it possible to rent one.

They’ve got four mini drones that are called ‘Tiny Whoops’. They’re small first-person-view aircraft that you operate with a video game-like controller. The Tiny Whoop has a camera and monitor that allows you to watch where you’re flying, and even record it.

They’ve set up a hula-a-hoop course in the basement of the Mather library on campus. Anyone with a valid polar express card can rent one after watching an instructional video. Then, it’s like checking out a library book.

Kick-starter, Mathew Westhoff, says this is just the beginning of what’s to come. He has plans to get even more people involved with drone racing.

“Down in the lower 48, a lot of colleges have race teams like this; like they do normal sports teams. And we figured this would be a great thing to do, you know six months out of the year here in Alaska, and it is kind of harsh temperatures so this will be a great thing to really allow them to do year round. Kind of a way to get the kids involved with learning new things and getting them involved with computer science and engineering skills without them really knowing. We do plan actually to put on a camp for middle school, high school kids that we’re going to do here on campus and we’ll end up having a race in the patty ice center at the end of it.” – Matthew Westhoff, Unmanned Aircraft Pilot

Source: UAF Offers Drone Check-Outs to Students in Pilot Program – 13 KXDF Fairbanks