The 2015 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems

June 9 - 12, 2015

Denver Marriott
Tech Center

Denver, Colorado, USA

ICUAS'15 Program

Final Program

The Final Program is available.

Tutorials / Workshops

Keynote Lectures

Commercial Operations of UAS in Canada - 2015

Stewart Baillie
Unmanned Systems Canada

Abstract: Unlike other jurisdictions, commercial operations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have been authorized in Canada for many years. This presentation will cover the evolution of these operations, the regulatory framework under which they operate, several examples of successful UAS businesses in Canada and look to the future regarding expanded operations, particularly for Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations.

Short Bio: Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Mr. Baillie received his Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1981 and his Masters of Science in Aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology in 1982. Mr. Baillie gained over 30 years experience in manned aviation flight test, through his work at the Flight Research Laboratory of Canada's National Research Council, serving as a Research Officer, a Program Manager and for 15 years as the Lab Director. During this period he also had a 9-month assignment to Industry Canada where he served as a Director within the Aerospace, Defence and Marine Branch. Mr. Baillie retired from NRC in January 2013 and is now an independent consultant. Mr. Baillie's expertise includes both fixed and rotary wing aircraft with special emphasis on aircraft operations, handling qualities and flight test. Since 2003 he was the main proponent of UAS technologies at NRC and led the development of the NRC Civil UAS Program. He currently leads the Transport Canada subgroup to develop airworthiness regulations for UAS. Mr. Baillie is a both a Fellow and a Councillor of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute and has served as that organization's President and as the Editor of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Journal. He represented Canada in the NATO-RTO and its predecessor organization, AGARD and was a Canadian member of the International Congress of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS). Finally, and perhaps most importantly for this event, Mr. Baillie was elected as a board member of Unmanned Systems Canada in 2012, and became Chairman of the organization in 2013.

Observing the Antarctic Atmosphere with Small Unmanned Aerial Systems

John Cassano
University of Colorado Boulder

Abstract: The use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) is becoming increasingly common for many fields of Antarctic research. Since 2009 we have pioneered the use of small (< 1 kg) and modest (~15 kg) sized UAS to make observations of the Antarctic atmosphere. We have flown over 50 missions and 300 flight hours in the Antarctic during 4 Antarctic field seasons. These UAS flights have been conducted in some of the harshest weather on the planet with temperatures down to -35 C and winds in excess of hurricane force. In this presentation I will discuss the challenges we faced in conducting the first wintertime UAS flights in the Antarctic, provide an overview of the unique measurements of the Antarctic atmosphere we've been able to make using UAS, and discuss future directions for UAS research in the Antarctic.

Short Bio: John Cassano is Associate Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado. He uses observations from autonomous observing systems and computer models of the atmosphere to study the weather and climate of the Polar Regions. He has spent 12 field seasons in Antarctica since 1994 and his research group completed the longest duration and first wintertime UAS flights in the Antarctic.

What does the Future look like for the Integration of Civil RPAS or UAS?

Douglas (Doug) Davis
Director of Airworthiness
Northrop Grumman

Abstract: This presentation presents and discusses the amount of work and proposed timelines for the International Integration of Civil RPAS, globally. A snapshot of global activities and how they are closing the gaps is presented. The key question to be answered is: are global activities closing the gap or not?

Short Bio: Doug Davis began his aviation career in 1984 as an FAA air traffic controller at the Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). He completed staff-time in Traffic Management, Military Operations, and Airspace and Procedures, and served as a first-line supervisor at the Atlanta ARTCC before moving to the FAA Headquarters in Washington DC in 1997. He served as the manager of Enroute Procedures in Air Traffic before going on to be the Special Assistant to the Associate Administrator for Air Traffic Services. He was chosen the Assistant Manager, Avionics Systems in Aircraft Certification, and was picked to be the Aircraft Certification Lead for Unmanned Aircraft. In December 2005, he was selected as the first manager to stand-up, organize, and lead the newly created Unmanned Aircraft Program Office. Doug left the FAA and, then, spent over 4 years with New Mexico State University / PSL as the Director for Global UAS Strategic Initiatives. He formed and leads, along with Paul Cremin from the UK, an independent team of UAS and Airspace Subject Matter Experts called the Global Airspace Integration Team (GAIT). He is currently Northrop Grumman's Director of Airworthiness, and is leading the newest of NG's organizations in Airworthiness Certification and Airspace Integration. Doug has been the CANSO UAS Workgroup Chair for 3 years and also represents CANSO on the ICAO UASSG, which has sunset. He will now be serving as CANSO Representative to the ICAO RPAS Panel, which is set to kick-off in November 2014, and has recently been named as the Industry Co-Chair for the CANSO Collaborative Airspace Working Group (CAWG).

Applications of UAS in Agriculture: Challenges and Opportunities

Dr. Reza Ehsani
Agricultural and Biological Engineering
University of Florida

Abstract: Agriculture has been mentioned to be the largest market for UAS technology. This technology could have significant implications in the area of crop management for different sizes of farms and crops. Small, low cost UAS that can be operated by growers may potentially change the way the crops are being monitored. Timely detection and management of the major causes of crop loss, such as pests and diseases, is critical in preventing crop losses. Collection of real-time, site-specific data is expensive, and time-consuming, and UAS can be a great tool for data collection. This presentation will cover all the major potential applications of UAS in agriculture and will discuss existing challenges and opportunities in utilizing this technology.

Short Bio: Dr. Ehsani received his PhD in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from the University of California, Davis, where he worked on precision agriculture applications for high value crops. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Florida. His current areas of research include developing tools and techniques for precision agriculture and applications of UAS for orchard management.

Reconfigurable Design, Control and Operation of Autonomous Systems

Dr. George J. Vachtsevanos
Professor Emeritus
School of ECE
Georgia Institute of Technology

Abstract: The objective of the presentation is: Given an existing unmanned system/platform, reconfigure its components, controls, communications, etc., to meet new operational requirements or mission profiles. The proposed enabling technologies address off-line and on-line component and software reconfiguration to meet new mission profiles, new operational requirements or mitigate fault/failure events. Rigorous modeling/simulation tools and methods are employed to optimize reconfiguration strategies and assess the impact of component/software changes on other system components. Innovative control reconfiguration routines are introduced at various levels of abstraction from the individual component to the system and mission levels with performance guarantees. A complex unmanned system-the hexapod- is designed and built to serve as the targeted testbed.

Short Bio: Dr. George Vachtsevanos is currently serving as Professor Emeritus at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He served as Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech from 1984 until September 2007. He also served on a part-time basis as the Chief Scientist of Impact Technologies, LLC. Dr. Vachtsevanos directs at Georgia Tech the Intelligent Control Systems Laboratory where faculty and students are conducting interdisciplinary research in intelligent control, fault diagnosis and failure prognosis of complex dynamical systems with emphasis on rotorcraft, and hierarchical/intelligent control of unmanned aerial vehicles. His work in unmanned aerial vehicles dates back to 1994 with major projects funded by the U.S. Army and DARPA. He has served as the Co-PI for DARPA's Software Enabled Control program and directed the development and flight testing of novel fault-tolerant control algorithms for unmanned aerial vehicles. He has represented Georgia Tech at DARPA's HURT program where multiple UAVs performed intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and tracking missions in an urban environment. Under AFOSR sponsorship, his research team has been developing a biologically inspired micro aerial vehicle. Under ARO sponsorship, his team has been developing game-theoretic and reasoning strategies for target recognition and tracking with multiple UAVs. Under support by NASA, his research team has been developing and testing an autonomous hovercraft. This research effort is aiming at the design and operation of unmanned systems that possess improved attributes of autonomy and fault tolerance. Dr. Vachtsevanos and his research team were involved in a series of programs since 1985 in diagnostics and more recently in prognostics funded by the government and industry. His research work has been supported over the years by ONR, NSWC, the MURI Integrated Diagnostic program at Georgia Tech, the U.S. Army's Advanced Diagnostic program, General Dynamics, General Motors Corporation, the Academic Consortium for Aging Aircraft program, the U.S. Air Force Space Command, Bell Helicopter, and Fairchild Controls, among others. The innovative technologies have relied on both data-driven and model-based algorithms from the domains of soft computing, Dempster-Shafer theory, and Bayesian estimation techniques with emphasis on particle filtering and physics-based modeling architectures. The application domains range from UAVs to automotive electrical storage and distribution systems, high power amplifiers, environmental control systems, and critical engine and drive system aircraft components. Dr. Vachtsevanos has developed and has been administering an intensive four-day short course on "Fault Diagnostics/Prognostics for Equipment Reliability and Health Maintenance." He is a member of the board of directors of the Prognostics and Health Management Society. He has published over 300 technical papers and is the recipient of the 2002-2003 Georgia Tech School of ECE Distinguished Professor Award and the 2003-2004 Georgia Institute of Technology Outstanding Interdisciplinary Activities Award. His research team has been awarded numerous awards for its technical presentations at professional conferences. He is the lead author of the book Intelligent Fault Diagnosis and Prognosis for Engineering Systems published by Wiley in 2006.