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Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Unmanned aircraft systems, sometimes called drones or unmanned aerial vehicles, are the next frontier of aviation. Researchers at the Aerospace Research Center are developing solutions to advance fundamental and applied UAS technology.

New horizons in flight

UAS are poised to serve important roles in society, from performing routine or risky tasks to going on reconnaissance or life-saving missions.

ARC researchers are experts in a range of UAS topics, spanning from fundamental vehicle design to algorithm and avionics development and flight testing. Partnering with industry, government, academia and other organizations, ARC is at the cutting-edge of UAS research and often serves as a neutral third party in research projects.

Current initiatives:

  • Autonomy: Preparing UAS to be mission-ready for applications such as disaster management, military reconnaissance, package delivery and infrastructure inspection
  • Robust, all-weather flight: Enabling UAS to fly in challenging weather conditions, such as wind gusts and icing
  • Design and flight testing: Projects focus on the design of avionics systems to support rapid data generation and validation, including robust flight control
  • Solar-power: Optimization of path planning is based on the real-time detection of environment and energy harvesting
  • System identification: Answers the questions of how vehicles understand their own capabilities and how this understanding could change due to system degradation or damage

Future-focused research

With faculty and research scientists leading initiatives at all levels of development, ARC is on the cutting-edge of UAS research. Noteworthy accomplishments highlight ARC’s unique position to facilitate collaborations between academia, industry and other organizations. Future developments include focus on policymaking, data gathering, environmental monitoring and continued design and build of UAS.

Interested in collaborating? Reach out to James Gregory to discuss ideas and opportunities.