CCOG for GEO 248 Summer 2024

Course Number:
GEO 248
Course Title:
Fundamentals of Drone Operations
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces the fundamental principles and concepts of small drone (a quadcopter weighing less than 5 pounds) operation. Includes history, categories, air frames, ground support equipment, optical systems, operation theory, desktop and mobile applications, mission planning and control for still image and video capture, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Certificate of Authorization process. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Safely operate a drone using an understanding of drone components, equipment, and technology.

  • Integrate factors impacting drone flight such as environment, weather, and geography into planning and operations.

  • Plan drone flights using an understanding of FAA and National Airspace System regulations and drone operation ethics.

  • Use effective Crew Resource Management during field data collection.

  • Program and fly a drone equipped with GPS to capture video and/or still photography.

  • Use post-processing techniques to achieve project goals.

Aspirational Goals

Be efficient and resourceful to solve both technical and process-oriented issues. Analyze the capabilities, limitations, and features of technology and equipment to capture the desired images based on client needs.

Course Activities and Design

The materials in this course will be presented in a computer lab and field setting through classroom lecture, discussion, software demonstrations, drone flying, and computer-based assignments.  Other methods may be implemented such as small group work, guest speakers, and in-class activities.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will be expected to demonstrate mastery of themes, concepts, issues, competencies and skills by any combination of the following:

  • Written results of class labs and exercises

  • Completion of exams and quizzes

  • Completion of a final project
  • In-class discussions
  • Drone Flying drills

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Content, Themes, Concepts

  • Drone Operation: normal procedures, emergency procedures, safety, basic crew resource management

  • Drone Equipment Setup: assembly, propellers, batteries, remote controls

  • Drone Maintenance: repair, replacement, service life

  • FAA regulations and licensing

  • Oregon State Law regarding drones

  •  Remote data collection: Aerial photography, videography, interpretation

  •  Industry applications of drone captured information

Issues & Skills

  • Types, uses, and analyses of small drone systems and data

  • Troubleshoot technical issues

  • Ethical flight operation and camera operation

  •  Limitations of small drone systems: flight times, transmission ranges

  •  Limitations of small drone pilots: visual line of sight, pilot physiology

  • Post Processing and delivery of small drone sensor derived products.