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Alpena Community College Unveils UAS Mobile Command Unit

ACC just got a new upgrade…The community college just unveiled it’s new UAS Mobile Command Unit.

Here’s that story.

It’s a van equipped with computers, heat, air, electricity, but what exactly is the catch? Friday ACC unveiled its new UAS Mobile Command Unit that will allow staff, students, and community members to use and fly drones remotely. The new technology will allow users to go out and use a drone as a tool that will be beneficial for years to come.

“We look at drones as tools, and tools are nothing new we always see new tools come but this is a high technology tool. How does it affect new students and jobs? Well part of working in any job is working with tools. For example the utility technician students that’s going to be a new tool that you will probably see in all utility tech folks using in the very near future. Being able to have a license and being able to legally authorize and understand and operate a drone and to inspect power lines is just one example,” Dawson said.

With the new unit, users will be able to map and navigate. The unit will allow search and rescues for emergency teams; take images of accidents, and other important things for other industries. Students taking the new course will be able to gain a pilot license and become certified. Another unique feature in the unit is the battery life.

“One of the deal breakers in drones is the battery life. The battery life only lasts up to 20 to 40 minutes. This is going to allow us to have an arsenal of batteries and be able to recharge batteries as necessary so we can go out and do real missions. Missions that just don’t 20 minutes. Missions that take two days perhaps or 8 hours or whatever that is, we can do that now,” Stone said.

The new mobile unit cost over $150,000. There are 4 large drone platforms, and they all do different things. There are also small hobby drones that teach eye movement, which is key to learn before advancing on to bigger drones. Thanks to grants ACC is on to a brighter future when it comes to technology.

For WBKB News in Alpena, I’m Star Connor.