Course Detail: SUAS-1000 - Understanding Drones: An Introduction to UAS [SUAS 1000]

sUAS hovering over trees at dawn


Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's (ERAU) Understanding Drones: An Introduction to UAS provides students with an understanding of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) fundamentals, building a solid foundation of knowledge for further learning. Students learn the history of drones, how they work, and how they can be utilized across a range of fields. Course content also provides an overview of basic rules that govern UAS operations, and how to select the right type of aircraft and payload to successfully complete a mission. Finally, students explore how to build an aircrew for an UAS program and make the right call while standing on the flight line.

Who Should Attend

Individuals new to UAS - otherwise known as drones - who want to gain a broad understanding of their history, how they work, use cases and applications, regulations and safe operations. This course provides a foundation for further learning about UAS by giving students a working knowledge of the concepts, nomenclature and development of this technology - thereby increasing learning and retention gained from future studies.

Two people setting up sUAS landing pad

Course Objectives

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Describe the characteristics of UAS, their components and distinguishing characteristics, as well as common use cases for drones today
  • Explain how the historic development of UAS influences current designs and missions
  • Understand aerodynamic principles and how they apply to different types of UAS configurations, such as fixed-wing, rotorcraft and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL)
  • Identify the different types of sensors and payloads employed on small, civil UAS and their contribution to successful mission outcomes
  • Describe the regulatory environment for UAS and tools to mitigate the risk of flight operations

Course Information

This is an online asynchronous instructor facilitated course with weekly modules and assignments, but no scheduled meeting times. Students should plan to spend approximately 10-15 hours per week working through the course. Coursework is web-based with no additional software required, although a reliable internet connection is recommended. All courses open 48 business hours in advance of each start date, and must be completed by their scheduled end dates. Digital certificates are available upon successful completion of individual courses. Printed certificates are mailed only upon completion of a full certificate program.

 Session Detail: W0322-SUAS1000-V1

Schedule: March 1, 2022 to April 11, 2022
Times: 12:00am - 11:59pm
Registration Fee : $399.00

Additional Information

Students may only drop a course through the Office of Professional Education without transcript notation or financial penalty during the drop period. All drop requests or session transfer requests require written communication by the student in order to be processed. Due to the short duration of courses, the drop period ends on the fourth business day of each session. Course fees will not be refunded after the conclusion of the drop period unless an exception request is submitted and granted. After the drop period, students can elect to transfer enrollment to a future session of the same course for a 25% administrative fee. For questions regarding course cancellation, drop period, or exemption requests, please contact the Office of Professional Education by email at or by phone at 386.481.9070.


Name Additional Resources
Stacy Martorella

Facility Detail

Worldwide Online
Online Course
1 Aerospace Boulevard
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(386) 481-9070