News Article | April 19, 2017
If you need the definitive guide to spotting and dodging nefarious drones, then look no further than this US Army manual on counter unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) techniques. Facing threats from non-state actors such as ISIS, which are perpetually bombarding coalition forces with DIY consumer drones, to possibly fighting against swarms of state-deployed drones in near-future battlefields, the US military has thought it's time to start training its soldiers on how to deal with the problem. And the main gist of the manual seems to be: "Just look for them, dude." Published in April, Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System Techniques , dutifully spotted by Steven Aftergood writing for the Federation of American Scientists , describes in great detail how Army units—ranging from a brigade, to battalion, to company level—should detect, identify, and defeat what the Army designates LSS (low, slow, and small) drones. One illustrated tactic is the deployment of 'air guards', essentially observer personnel who should "establish positions within visual range" of their own unit and "be equipped with the necessary optical gear to perform search and scan techniques to reduce the enemy's ability to evade detection." The visual scanning, if you need to train in your own back yard, looks something like this, ensuring the observer can see, hear and report any drones: The US Army is, however, working on more technological methods of fighting drones. Earlier this month, the Army announced it had upgraded its Stryker-mounted laser to a power of 5kW—a power capable of knocking out drones. A flurry of contracts have also been signed over recent months relating to drone detection systems. But as the Army acknowledges in its latest manual, small drones are a tricky adversary. "Integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) capabilities can effectively counter larger classes of UAS but have difficulty tracking, identifying, and defeating LSS UAS," the guide advises. "Small units operating in and around combat areas should assume they are being observed by the enemy and not assume they are under the umbrella (protection) of air and missile defense units." The Army even admitted in a late-2016 counter-drone document that there is no single, comprehensive solution to the UAS problem. Looks like the world's miltiaries are digging in for the long haul then. Drones are on the battlefield and they're not going anywhere soon. Subscribe to Science Solved It, Motherboard's new show about the greatest mysteries that were solved by science.
News Article | April 24, 2017
SMYRNA, Ga., April 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Microdrones, a global manufacturer of professional unmanned aerial systems (UAS), is pleased to announce they are partnering with SITECH South, a leading provider of construction equipment and services in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. SITECH...
News Article | April 18, 2017
DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Aerial Imaging Market Size, Market Share, Application Analysis, Regional Outlook, Growth Trends, Key Players, Competitive Strategies and Forecasts, 2012 to 2022" report to their offering. The aerial imaging market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.5% from 2015 to 2022, reaching US$ 2,705.0 Mn by 2022. Aerial imaging or airborne photography is a strategy of clicking pictures of ground from a direct-down position, by and large through a camera not bolstered by the ground-based structure. A portion of the stages utilized for aerial imaging incorporate altered wing air ship, multi-rotor unmanned air ship frameworks (UAS), helicopters, vehicle mounted shafts, zeppelins and airships, inflatables, parachutes, rockets, kites, and remain solitary extendable among others. Aerial imaging is unique in relation to aerial imaging and is one wherein one or more pursue planes are utilized to track and photo other plane in flight. Aeronautical photography is a financially savvy, high exactness method utilized for urban arranging, course outline, degree computations, and some of the time for mapping reason. The current market for elevated symbolism arrangements is still in the beginning phase of advancement and is very much ready to offer solid development potential over the conjecture time frame 2015 - 2022. For more information about this report visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/2f6w3b/global_aerial
News Article | April 26, 2017
The 2016 study has 268 pages, 92 tables and figures. Worldwide drone transponder markets are poised to achieve significant growth with the need to achieve protected airways. The simplest way to protect against mid-air collisions is to require the use of ADS-B transponders on all aircraft. Transponders can turn an uncooperative environment into a cooperative environment. Transponders provide location and positioning information about smart commercial drones. These drones have a computer inside, they are easy to fly, remotely maneuverable, have a camera, and contain sensor logic. Smart drones are evolving computer driven collision avoidance technology making the flying more reliable. Remote operation occurs in the context of a workflow and sensors. Cameras are improving dramatically to permit management of video and picture taking that is realistic and detailed. Drone actuators, drone transponders, are needed to support drone package delivery. This is a huge new market that speeds economic development, makes it easier for the middle class to both work, and purchase lifestyle items and food efficiently. Drones based on aerial robotic platform technology can be used to make deliveries to each person’s home, landing on the back doorstep, leaving packages in a locked box. The drone package delivery technology has reached a level of maturity that bodes well for market development. Drone systems are mature enough to be at the forefront of aerospace manufacturing. Dronecode is an independently funded software project that harnesses the power of collaborative development. The aim is to fuel innovation across drone industries and ecosystems. Dronecode Foundation is a nonprofit organization working on a common, shared open source platform for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Dronecode brings together existing and future open source UAV software projects. APM UAV software platform was developed by 3DRobotics. 1,200 developers are working on Dronecode’s six projects focused on maximizing adoption of the project’s cost-effective, reliable and technologically advanced UAV software. Micro-Avionix has an ultra-lightweight low cost ADS-B transponder for UAS. Micro-Avionix has developed an ADS-B suitable for UAVs of all sizes to improve flying safety for all. The ping™ is a family of ultralight weight, low cost, ADS-B transponders. Weights range from 1.5 to 30 grams, delivering a variety of types of performance. The ping2020™, for instance, is capable of IN on both 1090ES and 978UAT, and OUT on 978UAT. The products are fully compliant with the minimum performance standards of DO-282B Class A1S. Micro-Avionix has developed an ADS-B suitable for UAVs of all sizes to The ping™ is among the world’s first families of ultralight weight, low cost, ADS-B transponders. Transponder and sense and avoid technology sponsorship by Sagetech, L-3 Aviation Products, FreeFlight, Micro-Avionix, Google, Trig, DJI, and Intel has been effective. Development by Dronecode application ecosystem provides huge advances in drone real-time sense and avoid behavior. An open source collaboration is expected to accelerate deployable solutions for agile and reliable operation in the national airspace. The open source platform has been adopted by many organizations on the forefront of drone technology: 3DRobotics, Parrot, Qualcomm, Intel, DroneDeploy, Yuneec, Airphrame, and others. With 750,000 users and 500 active developers the open source code initiative represents a compelling community of professionals and enthusiasts is able to support active improvements in control of airspace and improvement in flying safety for all. The alliance has worked on development standardization and software module interoperability “Use of drone transponders represents a key milestone in provision of value to the airborne package delivery industry. Customized cameras are used to supplement GPS navigation, acting as eyes of the drone, permitting package delivery everywhere. Digital controls will further automate flying, making ease of use and flight stability a reality. New materials and new designs are bringing that transformation forward. By furthering transponder innovation, continued growth is assured.” The worldwide market for drone transponders is anticipated to start from nothing and reach $2.5 billion worldwide by 2022 growing in response to the need to prevent drone collisions, keep the highways in the sky safe, and manage routing of commercial drones. Multiple applications drive market growth, most of all package delivery occurs out of line of sight. Other applications for drone transponders are in consumer photography, lightweight commercial drones for real estate, the military, law enforcement, border control, homeland security, utility infrastructure surveillance, agriculture, aerial mapping, and package delivery. For more information, please visit http://www.wiseguyreports.com
News Article | April 17, 2017
« Ford exploring use of bamboo in cars | Main | Proterra delivers 100th electric bus » The US Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration will award (693JJ317NF0001) up to $60 million to projects to develop model deployment sites for large scale installation and operation of advanced transportation technologies to improve safety, efficiency, system performance, and infrastructure return on investment. DOT is requiring a minimum cost share of 50%; i.e., the maximum Federal share is 50%. Total project values will thus be a combined minimum $120 million. These model deployments are expected to provide benefits in the form of: reduced traffic-related fatalities and injuries; reduced traffic congestion and improved travel time reliability; reduced transportation-related emissions; optimized multimodal system performance; improved access to transportation alternatives, including for underserved populations; public access to real time integrated traffic, transit, and multimodal transportation information to make informed travel decisions; cost savings to transportation agencies, businesses, and the traveling public; or other benefits to transportation users and the general public. Projects funded under this initiative will deploy advanced transportation and congestion management technologies, including: Advanced traveler information systems. Systems that provide real time, predicted, and individualized information about travel choices, based on data from sensors (traffic, weather), mobile sources (personal portable devices, connected vehicles), and other information systems (public transportation, shared-use mobility, traffic incident management, construction, parking, congestion pricing/tolls or other costs) to allow travelers and shippers to make informed decisions regarding destinations, when to travel, routes, or modes. This information should be publicly accessible and not limited to users with smart phones. Advanced transportation management technologies. Technologies that assist transportation system operators in managing and controlling the performance of their systems to provide optimal services or respond to dynamic conditions, including inter-jurisdictional and intermodal coordination; technologies may include traffic signal equipment, advanced data collection and processing (from sensors, connected vehicles and other mobile sources, other information systems), dynamic lane controls/configurations, and cooperative transportation management algorithms including pricing strategies across jurisdictions/agencies/facilities/modes. Infrastructure maintenance, monitoring, and condition assessment. Technologies and systems that monitor the behavior or assess the condition of transportation infrastructure to allow agencies to better manage their transportation assets through optimizing resource allocation, preventative maintenance processes, and responses to critical conditions. Advanced public transportation systems. Technologies that assist public transportation system operators or other shared mobility entities in managing and optimizing the provision of public transportation and mobility services; technologies may include remote fleet monitoring systems, coordinated communication systems, algorithms, and applications to enable better transit connections for users, advanced data collection and processing (from sensors, mobile/connected sources, other information systems) to provide dynamic responsive transit services, and communication and data systems that enable shared mobility services. Transportation system performance data collection, analysis, and dissemination systems. Technologies and systems that actively monitor the performance of and interactions between transportation systems and permit agencies and other interested entities to conduct analyses and research, and explore innovative, value-added products and services. Advanced safety systems, including vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to- infrastructure communications, technologies associated with autonomous vehicles, and other collision avoidance technologies, including systems using cellular technology. Deployment of technology- based safety systems such as described at Safer Car or at the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Program, or other applicable safety technologies. Integration of intelligent transportation systems with the Smart Grid and other energy distribution and charging systems. Technologies that link information from ITS and other transportation systems with information from Smart Grid and other energy distribution and charging systems to provide users with better information related to opportunities for recharging electric vehicles, and to provide energy distribution agencies with better information related to potential transportation-user demand. Electronic pricing and payment systems. Technologies that permit users to electronically conduct financial transactions for mobility services across jurisdictions and agencies, such as unified fare collection, payment, and tolling systems across transportation modes; or Advanced mobility and access technologies, such as dynamic ridesharing and information systems to support human services for elderly and disabled individuals. Technologies and systems that leverage data and communications systems to allow public agencies and human service organizations to provide improved mobility services to at-risk users such as elderly, disabled, or other individuals that require transportation assistance. USDOT is particularly interested in deployment programs and projects in the following areas: Multimodal Integrated Corridor Management (ICM). ICM is the coordination of individual transportation network operations of adjacent facilities across all government or other operations agencies that creates a unified, interconnected, and multimodal system capable of sharing cross-network travel management to safely and efficiently improve the movement of people and goods. All corridor transportation assets and information services (i.e., local, county, regional, State) are brought to bear when prevailing or predicted transportation conditions trigger alerts. Through an ICM approach, transportation agencies manage the corridor as a multimodal system and make operational and safety decisions for the benefit of the corridor as a whole. The DOT is interested in increasing deployment of ICM. Installation of Connected Vehicle Technologies at Intersections and Pedestrian Crossing Locations. Deployment of connected vehicle wireless communications technologies at intersections to enhance motorized and non- motorized traveler safety, or actively improve the management, operation, and maintenance of traffic signal systems through real-time data collection and signal control. Example technologies include vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle- to-pedestrian (V2P) deployments, such as at intersections or midblock pedestrian crossings, to support activities and initiatives of the V2I Deployment Coalition and non-motorized traveler applications, or technologies to support automated traffic signal performance measures. Such technologies should provide information, notifications, and alerts in accessible formats to assist all users navigate safely through intersections including providing contextual information for situational awareness and localization. The DOT has been working to accelerate the implementation of technologies that advance these strategies. Unified Fare Collection and Payment System Across Transportation Modes and Jurisdictions. Technological advancements in payment systems allow convergence across both publicly-delivered and privately-delivered mobility services. However, field implementations have been achieved only sparingly and in small projects. Convergence will enhance consumer payment options and mode choices and forge partnerships among providers to achieve a seamless, accessible, and flexible transportation network across the Nation. DOT is engaged in efforts which will assist in identifying technical, institutional, and policy solutions to achieve unified transportation payment systems. Freight Community System. A Freight Community System (sometimes called port community system) is an electronic platform which connects the multiple systems operated by a variety of organizations that make up a freight transportation community, including seaports, airports, rail yards / inland ports and distribution centers. It is shared in the sense that it is set up, organized and used by firms in the same sector – in this case, a freight community – to provide a neutral and open electronic platform enabling an intelligent and secure exchange of information between public and private stakeholders in order to improve the efficiency and competitive position of the ports’ community(ies). It optimizes, manages and automates smooth port and logistics processes through a single submission of data by connecting transport and logistics chains. This focus area is important to the Departmental goal of integrating freight infrastructure within the surface transportation system, particularly maritime ports, while at the same time providing a platform to reduce the impacts of national freight movement on local communities. Technologies to Support Connected Communities. Deployment of technologies for a multimodal transportation system provides safe, reliable, and affordable connections to employment, education, obtain and provide healthcare, and other essential services. Examples include dynamic ridesharing through the latest communications technologies and social network structures to bring drivers and riders together quickly and efficiently, technologies to mitigate the negative impacts of freight movement on communities, or technologies that support workforce development, particularly for disadvantaged groups, which include low-income groups, persons with visible and hidden disabilities, elderly individuals, and minority persons and populations. Any of these example technologies should include the elements of universal design and inclusive information and communication technology solutions, and may include deployment of autonomous vehicles through geographically contained ridesharing pilot programs, including the benefits of the technology with groups that might otherwise have limited transportation options, such as older Americans who no longer drive or those with disabilities or no driver's license. The DOT is interested in using advanced technologies to improve the public’s connections to employment, education, healthcare, and other essential services. Infrastructure Maintenance, Monitoring, and Condition Assessment. Timely, accurate and efficient assessment of infrastructure condition is critical to effective infrastructure asset management. Current state-of-the-practice technologies for condition assessment represent a good start, but have a variety of limitations. Opportunities for advancement include: implementation of friction management programs founded on highway-speed friction testing; highway speed deflection monitoring for pavement structural evaluation; sensor systems for infrastructure condition monitoring; use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for condition inspection; development of holistic and virtual data visualization technologies; and advancement of bridge load rating technologies. Implementation of these emerging technologies will enable improved highway safety and more timely intervention to address structural deficiencies and infrastructure deterioration with relatively low-cost solutions. Rural Technology Deployments. Deployment of advanced technologies to enhance safety, mobility, or economic vitality. Example technologies include improved access to transportation services, corridor freight platooning, mobile work zone alerts, improved roadway weather management, improved emergency response services and traffic incident management, curve warning systems, or animal intrusion detection and warning. The DOT is interested in geographically diverse application of technologies to include rural deployments. Eligible applicants are State or local governments, transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) representing a population of more than 200,000, or other political subdivisions of a State or local government (such as publicly owned toll or port authorities), or a multi-jurisdictional group or consortia of research institutions or academic institutions. DOT encourages partnership with the private sector or public agencies, including multimodal and multi-jurisdictional entities, research institutions, organizations representing transportation and technology leaders, or other transportation stakeholders. USDOT will host an Informational Session regarding this Funding Opportunity on 25 2017 at 1:00 pm Eastern Time.
News Article | April 20, 2017
Company to supply X-band satellite services for the continued testing of the MQ-4C Triton UAS XTAR, LLC has announced that it has been selected once again by the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to supply X-band satellite bandwidth for the MQ-4C Triton UAS. The blanket purchase agreement has a ceiling of $9.8 million and consists of a one-year base with four one-year options. The MQ-4C Triton is an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) developed under the Navy’s Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems program. Designed and manufactured by Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Navy, the MQ-4C is intended to provide real-time intelligence and reconnaissance in a maritime environment. Triton’s communications payload is built to specifically leverage X-band and military Ka-band frequencies. “XTAR’s space segment is naturally suited for this type of application,” explains Philip Harlow, President & COO at XTAR. “X-band service on-demand provides the U.S. Navy with the flexibility they need and the reliability they require while remaining extremely cost effective.” "Commercial satellite service fills a mission-critical connectivity requirement needed for the development of Triton's next-generation intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability," states Lieutenant Commander Franklin Huebel of NAVAIR. X-band services will continue to be provided to the Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland on the XTAR-LANT North America spot beam. Founded in 2001, XTAR, LLC is the first commercial satellite operator to provide services in the X-band frequency. XTAR is a privately owned company backed by majority shareholder Loral Space & Communications of New York. XTAR also enjoys investment and support from minority shareholder Hisdesat Strategic Services SA. XTAR launched its fleet without government funding, employing its own technical and financial resources for a system that is reserved exclusively for the benefit of the government user. Countries around the world trust XTAR to support critical services such as border security and information gathering.
News Article | April 17, 2017
Ensuring the safety of the public is a core mission for all professional law enforcement agencies. In pursuit of this mission, law enforcement leverages many different types of tools, including new and emerging technologies. One of these latest technologies is the small-unmanned aircraft system (sUAS). The Police Foundation is releasing a new infographic for both law enforcement agencies considering the use of small unmanned aircraft systems for public safety purposes and for communities interested in learning more about the purposes and protections surrounding their use. The infographic, entitled sUAS and Public Safety, provides an overview of operational, training, and legal and regulatory compliance considerations in visual format for law enforcement agencies interested in using sUAS for public safety. Importantly, it highlights key recommendations for law enforcement agencies on engaging their communities in the co-production of public safety using sUAS prior to implementation. While this type of technology has significant potential to improve operational efficiency as well as officer and community safety, there are understandable and legitimate concerns about privacy risks. To address these concerns and to improve UAS programs, law enforcement agencies considering adopting sUAS technology are encouraged to engage their communities early in the decision to implement a program. “UAS technologies provide law enforcement agencies with unique capabilities for rapid, safe, economical and effective responses to a wide variety of public safety tactical challenges. Harnessing these capabilities requires not only the skills to operate the technology, but the input and understanding of the community and a pledge to operate the technology in a transparent manner. Taking the time to engage the community, address concerns and gain input from the community is exactly what community policing is all about,” said Jim Bueermann, President of the Police Foundation and former Chief of Police in Redlands, California. This infographic is the latest Police Foundation resource for law enforcement agencies interested in developing an sUAS program. In November 2016, the Police Foundation released Community Policing & Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Guidelines to Enhance Community Trust, which provides comprehensive guidance on all aspects of sUAS use in public safety, including operational, training, and legal and regulatory compliance considerations as well as guidance on navigating community concerns related to privacy and civil rights. The Five Things You Need To Know About Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) in Law Enforcement distills this topic into five key points for quick reference. The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice, supported the development of this infographic, Five Things publication, and guidebook. The sUAS and Public Safety infographic is available to media organizations to use with attribution and without modification. About the Police Foundation: The Police Foundation is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing policing through innovation and science. Established in 1970, the Foundation has conducted seminal research in police behavior, policy, and procedure, and works to transfer to local agencies the best new information about practices for dealing effectively with a range of important police operational and administrative concerns.
News Article | May 1, 2017
The research found that drones fall more slowly than wood or metal of the same mass, due to the aerodynamic drag Plenty of people have their reservations about the widespread adoption of drones, and rightly so with more and more of them buzzing around. But how real is the threat that they pose exactly? A study issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has sought to bring some figures into the discussion, finding, among other things, the chances of a head injury from a falling drone to be 0.03 percent. The study kicked off in September 2015 and is being carried out by the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE). This collaboration includes researchers from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the University of Kansas and Mississippi State University, and has set out to bring better understanding of the risks surrounding drones and the public. "The research team reviewed over 300 publications from the automotive industry, consumer battery market, toy standards and other fields to inform their research using the most modern research techniques," said the University of Alabama in Huntsville's David Arterburn, principal investigator for the study. "From these, we were able to identify blunt force trauma, penetration injuries and lacerations as the most significant threats to people on the ground." As part of the study, the team conducted crash tests as a way of investigating kinetic energy, energy transfer and the dynamics of a collision between a falling drone and a human head. Their results were then peer reviewed by NASA, the Department of Defense and FAA scientists. This involved comparing the impact velocity and chances of injury when struck by a drone (as judged by motor vehicle standards), compared to a piece of wood or steel of the same weight. The team found that a 2.7-lb drone (1.22 kg) landing on your head brought a 0.01 to 0.03 percent chance of head injury, compared to a 99 to 100 percent chance from both the wood and steel. Risk of neck injury was rated at 11 to 13 percent, compared to probabilities of around 60 to 70 with the other materials. Check out the drone vs steel plate below. The research found that drones fall more slowly than wood or metal of the same mass due to the aerodynamic drag, and therefore cause less damage. What's more, a drone is more forgiving and will flex more on impact, therefore transferring less energy in the process. These results seem pretty positive, as an increasing number of companies and startups incorporate drones into their business operations. But having seen drones fall out of the air ourselves, we still wouldn't like to be sat squarely underneath as one comes plummeting to the ground. In June this year, ASSURE will begin the second phase of its research. This will involve verifying the results of this initial study and developing tests that drone manufacturers can use to certify their aircraft for flights over people on the ground.
News Article | May 2, 2017
« Ricardo collaborating with Toyota on Project Portal Class 8 fuel cell truck | Main | China team develops efficient multifunctional catalyst for conversion of CO2 to gasoline-range hydrocarbons » Ryder System, Inc., a leader in commercial fleet management, dedicated transportation, and supply chain solutions, will be the strategic service partner for Workhorse Group Inc., an Ohio-based battery-electric truck and drone manufacturer. Ryder will be the exclusive maintenance provider for Workhorse’s entire light- and medium-duty range-extended electric vehicle fleet in North America and will provide a combination of warranty and maintenance services as part of Ryder’s SelectCare fleet maintenance portfolio. Ryder will also serve as the primary distributor in North America for Workhorse’s E-100 and E-GEN range-extended medium-duty vehicles, as well as the W-15 electric pickup truck. (Earlier post.) Through its partnership with Workhorse, Ryder expands its leadership in advanced vehicle technology, strengthening its ability to provide customers with the most flexibility, choice, and control in fleet management, as well as innovative solutions to help them reach their sustainability goals. The new partnership will provide Workhorse with access to a superior level of maintenance solutions at hundreds of Ryder service locations throughout North America. Through Ryder SelectCare maintenance, Workhorse will be able to maximize uptime, lower costs, and keep their customers’ businesses moving. Workhorse manufactures and sells the E-100 battery-electric and E-GEN range-extended electric vehicles. The Workhorse E-100 and E-GEN medium-duty vehicles are currently available to customers in North America and the W-15 electric pickup truck is expected to be in production in late 2018. The company also manufactures fully integrated truck-launched, FAA-compliant unmanned aerial systems (UAS) delivery drones.
News Article | April 18, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Entrepreneurs, investment professionals and other industry leaders involved or interested in unmanned aerial systems (UAS) will converge in Wichita, Kansas, August 30-31, for the 2017 UAS Tech Forum. The event will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Wichita Airport. Regarded as the annual anchor event for the UAS Cluster Initiative for Oklahoma and South Kansas, a collaborative funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Tech Forum will bring together in one place, entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, technology transfer professionals, economic development officials and other service providers. Forum participants will have the opportunity to hear various technology presentations and thought-provoking panel discussions as well as listen in on several relevant keynote presentations from some of the industry’s most respected speakers. Networking opportunities with other attendees and exhibitors will be available throughout the event as well as various investment opportunities. The agenda also includes pitch sessions where pre-selected and prepped entrepreneurs and researchers showcase their technologies to a wide array of potential strategic partners, investors and licensees. Presenters go through a six-week mentoring process leading up to the Tech Forum, designed to help them prepare for their pitch sessions. “Think ‘Shark Tank’ meets traditional investor Pitch,” said UAS Cluster Program Manager Amanda Radovic. “Just by going through the process, Pitch presenters are creating a polished pitch, expanding their networks and gaining exposure to strategic partners.” The UAS Cluster Initiative is partnering with several entities to put on the Tech Forum, including host organizations the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), Greater Wichita Partnership, Wichita State University, and Kansas State University. “The UAS industry is an ideal fit for the state of Kansas, and the energy behind growing new business here is remarkable,” said Bob Brock, KDOT director of UAS. “The Secretaries of Transportation and Commerce have dedicated time and resources to foster partnerships with universities, aerospace companies and other state agencies that we believe will be essential to helping UAS businesses thrive in Kansas.” Jeff Fluhr, president of the Greater Wichita Partnership, said he is excited that the Air Capital of the World will be hosting this year’s UAS Tech Forum. “The greater Wichita region is one of five aviation clusters in the world. We have been a leader in this industry for 100 years, which creates a dynamic opportunity for South Kansas and Oklahoma to cultivate and grow the UAS industry by leveraging our regional strengths and working collectively,” he said. Anyone wishing to register for the 2017 UAS Tech Forum or to sign up as a sponsor or apply for one of the Pitch presentations may do so by visiting the Cluster Initiative website at https://uascluster.com/pages/techforum2017-home.html. Administered by Development Capital Networks, the Cluster Initiative’s mission is to accelerate the growth of the UAS Industry by enabling established companies and emerging entrepreneurs, in particular those located in Oklahoma and South Kansas, to connect, work together and gain access to national technologies, global capital, advanced business models and global markets. It accomplishes this through a variety of activities and events, including webinars, SBIR workshops, mentoring and acceleration services, roundtable discussions, a student UAS competition, the UAS Tech Forum and other networking opportunities.