Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarships

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Rachel Axten

Pennsylvania State University

Rachel Axten is a PhD Candidate at the Penn State UAS Research Laboratory (PURL) at the Pennsylvania State University and a Pathways student at the NASA Langley Dynamic Systems and Control Branch. Her research interest lies in vehicle dynamics, adaptive control, and UAS autonomy, focusing on hybrid VTOL aircraft configurations. Rachel's research uses neuro-adaptive control integrated in a simulation environment and onto flight testbed vehicles for autopilot development. In support of her research work, she is an FAA Part 107 drone pilot, private pilot, and the president of the Autonomous Robotics Competition Club (ARCC) at Penn State. As a part of the ARCC team, she has won over $250,000 in prize awards since 2019 from competitions including the NIST PSCR First Responder UAS Challenges.

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