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Unit of study_

AERO5750: Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems

Semester 2, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

Objectives/Expected Outcomes: To develop specialist knowledge and understanding of Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) systems. To be able to assess, evaluate and perform preliminary design analysis on complete UAV systems. Syllabus summary: This course will focus on understanding UAVs from a system perspective. It will consider a variety of key UAV subsystems and look at how these interact to determine the overall effectiveness of a particular UAV system for a given mission. Based on this understanding it will also look at the evaluation and design of a complete UAV system for a given mission specification. Some of the primary UAV subsystems that will be considered in this course are as follows. Airframe and Propulsion: The role of the basic airframe/propulsion subsystem of the UAV in setting operational mission bounds for different classes of UAVs, from micro UAVs, through to larger vehicles. Flight Control and Avionics: Typical UAV primary flight control systems; Sensor requirements to support different levels of operation (eg auto-land vs remote-control landing etc. ,); Redundancy requirements. Navigation: Navigation requirements; inertial navigation; aiding via use of GPS; strategies to combat GPS failures. Typical Payloads: Electro-Optical (EO); Infra-Red (IR); Electronic Warfare (EW); Electronic Surveillance (ES); Radar and others. Payload stabilization and pointing accuracy requirements. Air-Ground Communication Link: Typical Civilian and Military communication links. Range, Security, Bandwidth, Cost issues. Ground Control Station(GCS): Air-vehicle monitoring; payload monitoring; data dissemination; control of multiple vehicles. The course will also consider other general issues associated with modern UAV systems including multi-vehicle systems, certification of UAV systems and others. As part of the course students will spend 1 day operating a UAV system, with their own mission guidance/mission control software on board.

Unit details and rules

Unit code AERO5750
Academic unit Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic
Credit points 6
(AERO3260 OR AERO9260) AND (AERO3460 OR AERO9460) AND (AERO3360 OR AERO9360) AND (AERO3560 OR AERO9560)
Assumed knowledge

AERO1560, AERO1400, AMME2700, AERO3460, AERO3560, AERO3260, AERO3261 and AERO4460.

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator KC Wong,
Lecturer(s) KC Wong,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Small continuous assessment Project viva voce
Individual presentation of project progress
15% Multiple weeks ~5 hours in total
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO3 LO2
Assignment group assignment Preliminary Design Review of UAV System
PDR of UAV System and propose pathway towards final project outcome.
15% Week 08
Due date: 06 Oct 2021 at 23:59
~5p/student with associated appendices
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO1 LO4 LO5
Presentation group assignment UAV System demonstration
Demonstration of integrated UAV System to meet given specifications.
10% Week 12
Due date: 10 Nov 2021 at 14:00
~3 hours total
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO1 LO4 LO5
Assignment group assignment Final Project Report
Report to describe and summarise development and achievements of specified
50% Week 13
Due date: 12 Nov 2021 at 23:59
~20p/student with associated appendices
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO4 LO1 LO3
Presentation group assignment UAV System presentation
Presentation of development & achievements of Systems to meet specification
10% Week 13
Due date: 10 Nov 2021 at 14:00
~3 hours total
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO1 LO4 LO5
group assignment = group assignment ?
Group assignment with individually assessed component = group assignment with individually assessed component ?

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks Background Research, coding, and development of required UAV systems. Independent study (85 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 01 Overview of unmanned aircraft systems Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 02 Unmanned aircraft types and technologies Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 03 Unmanned aircraft mission systems Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 04 Challenges for future unmanned aircraft systems - unique designs Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 05 Challenges for future unmanned aircraft systems Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Final definition of Project goals Studio (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 07 Working on Project Studio (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 08 Finalising Preliminary Design Review of UAV system Studio (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Working on Project Studio (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Working on Project Studio (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Working on Project Studio (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 12 Project Demonstration Studio (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 Project Presentation Studio (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

Synchronous class attendance is essential.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • Jay Gundlach, Designing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (1). USA, AIAA, 2012. 978-1-60086-843-6.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Self-learning from open source resources
  • LO2. design and produce UAV flight system
  • LO3. analyse and verify UAV flight system performance.
  • LO4. Interact with team members in class to communicate and integrate individual work towards required UAV system
  • LO5. Communicate project achievements using appropriate media

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

First offering since 2020

Covid-restrictions permitting, students are required to have access to hardware needed for optimal outcomes.


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