Skylar Sanders, an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Yellow Ribbon student, was able to represent Embry-Riddle at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Orlando, Flor. MetaVR is a simulation company Sanders has been working at to refine the unmanned aerial system (UAS) simulation laboratory on the Prescott campus. While he was at the conference, he helped MetaVR grow their business, and further help ERAU gain a foothold in the UAS industry. “Every aviation and non-aviation simulation company that is Department of Defense grade was there, and I represented Embry-Riddle,” said Sanders.
“I got to tell everybody what the UAS program at Embry-Riddle has to offer,” said Sanders, “[and] how we are utilizing [MetaVR’s] software as well as other people’s software to make the best simulator.” The ERAU simulator is reasonably unique, in that there are few simulators in the country that can simulate the integration of UAS technologies into the national airspace. Using the MetaVR software, they can simulate several mission profiles, including details such as police chases and fire response. Using an ADS-B transponder code, they are working with the Air Traffic Control minor and major to train students in integrating UAS into the national airspace.
Sanders was a UAV instructor pilot in the US Army for four years, and he was running his own flight line by age 21. He trained people in simulators, and he intends to continue working in the simulator field. “I was an instructor for people with much higher rank than I had in the Army,” said Sanders, and he notes that he “wouldn’t even be at Embry-Riddle without the Army, and I definitely wouldn’t be in the UAV and simulation field.” Along with hiring Sanders for an internship this summer, MetaVR has begun sponsoring Sanders for papers that he has started to write. The company also wants to begin hiring more interns from Embry-Riddle. There will be a growing opportunity for ERAU students involved in UAS programs because of UAS industry growth and future FAA standards for the growing UAS field.