VTOL Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Seventh AHS Technical Meeting on VTOL Unmanned Aircraft Systems and AutonomyAZ Chapter Logo

Sponsored by the AHS Arizona Chapter

January 24-26, 2017
Mesa, Arizona, USA 

Unmanned Little BirdOnline registration is now closed for the VTOL Unmanned technical meeting . You can register onsite at the meeting starting on Tuesday, January 24 at 7:00 AM.


The 21st century has seen a continued emphasis on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and autonomous behavior development for both military and civilian applications on a global basis. There has been an explosion in VTOL UAVs with operations now around the world, and numerous large unmanned and optionally/optimally manned rotorcraft are in varying stages of development all over the world, along with the technologies that will safely integrate them into commercial airspace. The overwhelming focus on Network Centric Operations (NCO) and its application to rotorcraft and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) has expanded the scope of the 2017 Technical Meeting.

Opening General Session: VIP speakers have been confirmed from the U.S government, military, industry and academia on topics from autonomous operations, airworthiness to regulation integration.  See topics and list of VIP speakers below.

Presentation Title


VIP Speaker





Ram JanakiRam, AHS VTOL UAS Meeting Technical Chair


The Boeing Company

Challenges in Unmanned (Helicopter) Aviation – Lessons Learned in the Development of the MQ-8C RDC


Bob Ernst, PMA-266 Chief Engineer


Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)

Army S&T Activities Leading to Future UAS Capabilities: A Vision to the Future


Layne Merritt, Chief Engineer


U.S. Army Aviation Development Directorate

Regulations that Allow Growth & Safe Integration of UAS: How do We Get There?


James A. Viola, FAA Flight Standards Service Division Manager (AFS-800)


Federal Aviation Administration, Gen Aviation & Commercial Division

NATO STANAG Airworthiness Code Development for small VTOL Unmanned Aircraft Systems


George "Leo" Flynn, Chief Engineer


U.S. Army Aviation Engineering Directorate

VTUAV Autonomous Operations and Collaboration in the Maritime Domain


Daniel Redman, Advanced Unmanned Systems, ASW Mission Lead


Northrop Grumman Corporation, Aerospace Systems

Autonomy for Aircraft: Current Portfolio, Future Needs


Barbara Lindauer, Government Business Development Director


Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin Company

OPA: An Alternative Development Method for UAV Hardware & Software


Roger Hehr, Experimental Test Pilot


The Boeing Company

Path Planning for UAV Collision Avoidance


Srikanth Saripalli, Director, Unmanned Systems Lab


Texas A&M University


Technical Papers: 
More than 20 technical papers will be presented during four technical sessions starting Tuesday, January 24th to Thursday, January 26th:

Technical Paper Title





Basic Understanding of Airfoil Characteristics at Low Reynolds Numbers


Justin Winslow, Hikaru Otsuka, Bharath Govindarajan, Inderjit Chopra


University of Maryland

A Functional Safety Management Approach for Certification of Small VTOL sUAS


Daniel P. Schrage


Georgia Institute of Technology

Visual Odometry Onboard a Micro Air Vehicle Using Snapdragon Flight


Cyrus Vorwald, Eric Solomon, Vikram Hrishikeshavan, Inderjit Chopra


University of Maryland

A Foresight of Utilizing Unmanned Logistical VTOL Aircrafts


Yu Ito


Yamato Holdings Co., Ltd.

Controllability Analysis of a Quadrotor in Hover using Empirical Gramians


Vikram Hrishikeshavan, Elena Shrestha, Inderjit Chopra, J. Sean Humbert


University of Maryland and University of Colorado

Automatic Landing on a Moving Platform Using Deep Neural Network Estimation


Toshinobu Watanabe, Eric N. Johnson


Georgia Institute of Technology

Turbulence Modeling of a Small Quadrotor UAS Using System Identification from Flight Data


Ondrej Juhasz, Mark J. S. Lopez, Marcos G. Berrios, Tom Berger Mark B. Tischler


San Jose State University and U.S. Army Aviation Development Directorate

Development of MAV-scale Quad-Cyclocopter Capable of Aerial and Terrestrial Locomotion


Elena Shrestha, Benjamin Williams, Vikram Hrishikeshavan, Inderjit Chopra


University of Maryland

A Multi-Modality Mobility Concept for a Small Package Delivery UAV


Larry A. Young


NASA Ames Research Center

Multirotor Design and Analysis for the Modification of Commercially Off the Shelf sUAS Technology  


Kathy Swift, Christie Bielmeier, Alfred Gates, Fu-Shang (John) Wei


Pinnacl X Corporation and Central Connecticut State University

Flow Analysis of Flapping Wing from RotorCraft Perspective


Camli Badrya, Bharath Govindarajan, James D. Baeder


University of Maryland

System Identification of a Meso-Scale Cyclocopter


Carl Runco, David Coleman, Moble Benedict


Texas A&M University

Runway Independent High Speed Unmanned: CarterCopter Jet VTOL UAS


Jay Carter, Jr., Jeffrey R. Lewis


Carter Aviation Technologies, LLC

Maneuverability and Disturbance Rejection Analysis of a Hover-Capable


David Coleman, Moble Benedict


Texas A&M University

Fire Scout Operations in Parametric Like Roll Ship Conditions


Bernard Ferrier


NAVAIR Dynamics Interface Lab (SETA)

Flight Performance of a Package Delivery Quadrotor Biplane


Brandyn Phillips, Vikram Hrishikeshavan, Derrick Yeo, Inderjit Chopra, Omri Rand     


University of Maryland and Israel Institute of Technology

Adaptive Pure Pursuit Based Autonomous Landing of Quadrotors


Alvika Gautam, P.B. Sujit, Srikanth Saripalli


Arizona State University

 High Assurance Cyber Military Systems


John Krainski


Boeing Mesa

Landing Path Generation Algorithm for Autonomous Shipboard Recovery of Rotorcraft


Junfeng Yang, Joseph F. Horn


Pennsylvania State University

Obstacle Detection Algorithms in Thermal Infrared Images for Collision Avoidance


Adrian Carrio, Srikanth Saripalli, Pascual Campoy


Arizona State University

Wind Gust Estimation on a Small Vtol UAV


Venkatasubramani S.R. Pappu, Yande Liu, Joseph F. Horn


Pennsylvania State University

Performance and Sizing Tool for Quadrotor-Biplane-Tailsitter UAS


Marius Strom, James D. Baeder


University of Maryland

For additional information regarding the opening general or technical sessions, please contact Dr. Ram JanakiRam, Technical Chair, (480) 891-6057 or (480) 748-9429. Final papers are due to Dr. JanakiRam by Jauary 16, 2017 – see Call for Papers for detailed information.

Preliminary Schedule

Tuesday, January 24th

7:30 AM – Continental Breakfast

8:30 AM – Opening General Session

12:00 PM – Lunch

1:30 PM – Technical Session A

6:00 PM – Social Hour


Wednesday, January 25th

7:30 AM – Continental Breakfast

8:30 AM – Technical Session B

12:00 PM – Lunch

1:30 PM – Technical Session C

5:30 PM – Banquet Dinner


Thursday, January 26th [Morning Only]

7:30 AM – Continental Breakfast

8:30 AM – Technical Session D

12:00 PM – Adjourn


Location/Hotel Reservations

Sheraton Mesa Hotel at Wrigleyville West

860 North Riverview

Mesa, Arizona 85201
Phone: +1-480-664-1221 (ask for Corey Keith) or +1-866-716-8134

Mesa Sheraton UAS Technical Meeting

All sessions of this conference will take place at the Sheraton Wrigleyville Resort in Mesa, AZ. Hotel reservations can be made by contacting the resort directly at 480-664-1221 and ask for Corey Keith.

The AHS Arizona Chapter has negotiated a discounted rate for conference attendees staying at the resort of $179/night. Please indicate that you are attending the AHS Unmanned Rotorcraft Technical Meeting to receive the discounted AHS rates.

The hotel provides its registered guests free shuttle service for the airport, and for any desired location within a five mile radius.

The January weather in Mesa is delightful, with average daily highs around 67°F (19°C) and average daily low temperatures are around 42°F (6°C).


For additional information on the hotel, surrounding areas and nearby Arizona sites, please see the AHS VTOL UAS visitor information packet.

Updated 1/9/17

VTOL Unmanned Aircraft Systems presentations

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