Liberty University – Excerpts From the Drone For Jesus Program
From a Liberty University Press Release:
“The reason we got into Unmanned Aircraft Systems is because the School of Aeronautics wants to prepare Champions for Christ in all areas of aviation,” Marselus said. “Unmanned Aircraft Systems are part of the future of aviation. We want believers prepared and ready to serve the Lord in that area, too.”
Although drones are typically thought of for military use, Marselus said there are many other ways they can benefit a number of areas — from law enforcement to agriculture (crop-spraying), science, and search and rescue — as more cost-effective, safer methods, and as more precise means to meet the many missions in aviation.
“A UAS is able to perform certain missions better than a manned aircraft, they can do it more effectively and more efficiently,” Marselus said, noting these aircraft are not really “unmanned;” humans are still involved, they are just not inside the aircraft.
Unmanned aircraft can be used to identify safety concerns, such as in traffic or severe weather, or gather data on wildlife and the environment. They can be used to investigate potentially hazardous conditions and alert appropriate parties to take action.
UASs are especially useful for performing the “Three D’s,” Marselus explained: missions that are dull, dangerous, or dirty. Law enforcement is one of the many applications that comes to mind.
“I am very thankful for our law enforcement professionals, they risk their lives for us every day,” Marselus said. “I see that UASs can enhance their operations greatly and put them at less risk as they protect and serve us.”
From the Liberty Summer Journal, 2012:
“Future aviation is going to include drones. There are so many potential applications where drones can be used,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Dave Young, who serves as dean of the Liberty University School of Aeronautics.
Those applications include potential uses in law enforcement, agriculture, border enforcement, power and oil pipeline control, search and rescue, and transportation of materials to remote construction sites.
Young understands that this technology could easily be abused by someone who doesn’t appreciate the ethics and values of avaition.
To that end, the SOA plans to train Liberty graduates who have a deep-seeded understanding of the ethical use of aircraft.
"Our mission is to produce graduates who are not only skilled, but who are going to go out in the world as strong Christians,” Young said.
Currently, 90 percent of drone usage by the United States Department of Defense occurs in combat missions in foreign airspace.
Marselus said Liberty is “right on the front edge” of drone technology.
“We want to have graduates serving the Lord in this area of aviation,” he said.
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