This module can be taken as a Short Course for Credit or a Standalone Short Course.
Please go to the 'Upgrade to a professional qualification' section for more information.

This five day course/module focuses on the up-to-date UAV systems level technologies and artificial intelligence based methods for mission planning and energy based range extenders, autopilots. Furthermore, the course covers the connectivities of airworthiness and cyber threat in the modern airspace.

The aim is to provide the students with the understanding of the fundamental concepts and challenges of Uninhabited Aircraft Systems with a military airworthiness perspective.

This module is available to attend as a short course or as an elective module as part of the military aerospace and airworthiness module, and the Defence Security Programme Aero Systems Pathway.

The course for award bearing students is assessed via 100% coursework and includes group student presentations working in small groups. 

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost£1,925

Course structure

A five day course with virtual teaching of theory and expertise

What you will learn

In successful completion of the course you will be able to :

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the overview of UAS and Military Airworthiness.
  • Describe the principles of UAV passive and active hard subsystems and UAS soft methods.
  • Estimate flight range of UAS based on design and analysis methods.
  • Evaluate aspects of UAS AI design based guidance within the context of airworthiness and applications and defence electronics.

Core content

UAV passive hard subsystems.

  • UAV materials
  • UAV structures
  • UAV battery and Artificial Intelligence (AI a hard/soft approach)
  • Rotary wing vehicles and micro UAVs

UAV Active Hard Subsystems

  • UAV communications
  • UAV sensing using electro-optics & Infrared
  • UAV radar signatures
  • UAS design and analysis methods

UAS Soft methods

  • Introduction to design and analysis of trials and experiments for UAVs.
    Artificial intelligence for UAVs
  • Automatic decision making for UAVs
  • UAV sense and avoid

UAS Design and Analysis Methods

  • Principles of UAV aero, prop & flight performance
  • Aspects of stealth
  • Stability and control

UAS AI Design Design Based Guidance

  • UAV sustainable airworthiness – cyber threat
  • UAV localisation based on imaging
  • UAV energy based planning guidance artificial intelligence based UAV Autopilots for guidance
  • UAV guidance

UAS applications and Airworthiness - Test cases

  • Applications - artificial sniffing UAV for illicit substances
  • UAV defence electronics
  • UAV airworthiness


This course runs once a year.

Who should attend

The course is suitable for engineers, scientists and managers who would benefit from an overview of UAV development and technology. Both specialists in search of a broader perspective and newcomers to the field will benefit from attending. This is an ideal opportunity for networking with colleagues from the armed services and industry.


The instructors are all experts within their fields, with service and industrial backgrounds and are well-versed in explaining clearly the intricacies of their subjects to both the specialist and newcomer.

Course Director


Location and travel

Cranfield Defence and Security (CDS) is a Cranfield School based at the Ministry of Defence establishment on the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire borders.

Shrivenham itself lies in the picturesque Vale of the White Horse, close to the M4 motorway which links London and South Wales. It is 7 miles from Swindon, the nearest town, which lies off the M4 at the hub of Britain’s motorway network.

Bath, Cheltenham, Bristol and Oxford are all within an hour’s drive and London less than two hours away by car.

All visitors must be pre-booked in at reception by the person they are visiting on the campus.

For further location and travel details

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.