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2021 UAS Summit Program

UAS Summit Program Speakers Sponsor/Co-Host REGISTER


Join AUVSI New England by providing your leadership and helping to define the new UAS ecosystem and industry.

The Robotica UAS Summit 2021 facilitates discussion of policy, enablers, counter-UAS, and next-generation transportation around Unmanned Aircraft Systems. The program below provides a compelling and diverse selection of industry and government leaders, making this industry a reality.  

ROBOTICA℠ UAS Summit Program

Day 1

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 | Virtual

1:00 PM
Welcome and Opening Remarks

Dr. Waseem Naqvi
President, AUVSI New England
Chief Technology Officer, Raytheon Unmanned Vehicle Systems
Dr. Jeffrey DeCarlo
Administrator, MassDOT Aeronautics Division

1:10 PM
Keynote Session

How the U.S. AF Can Help the UAM Industry With Its ORBs Requirement
Col Nathan Diller
Director, U.S. Air Force AFWERX    

1:40 PM
Commercial Break
Sponsored by Raytheon Technologies 
1:55 PM
Session One: Federal/State/Local Government Collaboration in UAS/AAM
Finding a Path Through Overlapping Regulatory Authority


This panel will explore how different federal, state, and local jurisdictions can collaborate to fund, support, and grow emerging technologies and industries and how they must define new roles and responsibilities where uncertainty in authorities exist. The session will focus on the cross-jurisdictional legal and regulatory environment for a counter-UAS response, the management of low-altitude airspace to enable new UAS operations, and building public acceptance of advanced air mobility operations.


Moderator: Rodolfo Cuevas, Counter-UAS (C-UAS) Program Lead, MassDOT Aeronautics Division

What is the State’s Role in Helping to Shape Low-Altitude Airspace for Expanded UAS Operations?
Peter Sachs, UTM Implementation Program Manager, FAA UAS Integration Office
Dr. Scott A. Uebelhart, Chief Scientist, MassDOT Drone Program

How Do We Organize Stakeholders to Create a Strong Mobility Ecosystem that Nurtures Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Services?
Paige Scott Reed, Partner, Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Practice, Prince Lobel Tye LLP
Geoffrey Douglass, Shoreline Aviation

How Do We Enable Air Domain Awareness for Protection of State and Local Critical Infrastructure?   
Jarret Wright, Deputy Director for Corporate Security and Emergency Preparedness, Massport
Elizabeth Soltys, FAA's UAS Security Program Advisor to the Deputy Associate Administrator for Security and Hazardous (ASH) Materials Safety, FAA Security and Materials Safety

3:10 PM
Commercial Break
Sponsored by Boston Engineering 
3:25 PM
Session Two: Market Operationalization
When Will the Market Develop and What Are the Catalysts?

With so many new aircraft types entering civil airspace, many organizations are predicting a significant market expansion. Some organizations are investing now to develop this market, and others are poised to enter, waiting on demand signals to appear. This panel will discuss this potential new market, any issues or roadblocks surrounding it, and catalysts to accelerate the industry. Presentations about successful collaborations between industry, academia, and the government will illustrate how some barriers are already diminishing.    


Moderator: Dr. Waseem Naqvi, President, AUVSI New England, and Chief Technology Officer, Raytheon Unmanned Vehicle Systems

Advanced Air Mobility - Market Development
Andrew Jetton, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Collins Aerospace (a Raytheon Technologies company)
Charlie Hipwood, President and Chief Executive Officer, MassVentures

Advanced Air Mobility - How Do We Get to an Integrated Airspace?
Dr. Heather Arneson, Urban Air Mobility Airspace Services Technical Lead, NASA Air Traffic Management-X
Dr. Waseem Naqvi, President, AUVSI New England and Chief Technology Officer, Raytheon Unmanned Vehicle Systems

Shall We Pivot to a New Market?
Billy Thalheimer, Aviation Consultant
Jacob Ruytenbeek, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, SailPlan

4:40 PM
Commercial Break
4:55 PM
Keynote Session

FAA UAM Update
Steve Bradford
Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor, NextGen - Federal Aviation Administration

5:25 PM

The following small and large companies, academia, and government organizations presented their services, research, and innovations at the Virtual PitchFest. Click on the links below to connect with this year's pitch presenters.

Target Arm, Inc.
Autonomous Launch and Recovery of Drones
SafeFlight Corporation
A Standardized Platform for UAS Enforcement and Reporting
Increasing Autonomy of Aerial Vehicles
Human Dynamics
Applied Robotics, Safer Workplaces
ARE Corporation
The Intelligence You Need to Make Informed Decisions
UMass Amherst
FlyNet: ‘On-the-Fly’ Workflow Management Architecture for AAM Services
Utilizing sUAS for Airport Obstruction Analysis
World’s Largest Shared Innovation Center for Robotics Start-ups


5:55 PM
Day 1: Recap and Closing Remarks

Day 2

Thursday, January 14, 2021 | Virtual

1:00 PM
Day 2: Welcome, Day 1 Recap, and Opening Remarks

Dr. Waseem Naqvi
President, AUVSI New England
Chief Technology Officer, Raytheon Unmanned Vehicle Systems
Dr. Jeffrey DeCarlo
Administrator, MassDOT Aeronautics Division

1:10 PM
Keynote Session

NASA Advanced Air Mobility Mission 
Davis Hackenberg
Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Mission Integration Manager, NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD)

1:40 PM
Commercial Break
Sponsored by Kostas Research Institute at Northeastern University
1:55 PM
Session Three: Advanced Technology
Identifying Next Generation Technologies and Solutions

Partnerships with academia serve a critical role in bringing new technologies and capabilities to the forefront for both industry and government. Typically academia focuses on cutting-edge research that may not hit the marketplace for several years. With the correct partnership models, these discoveries can quickly transition from academic labs to product lines, significantly reducing that timeline. The UAS/UAM industry boom is still in its infancy, with many advancements on its horizon. Academic research and development will play a crucial role here – and multi-sector partnerships will determine how and when products can go to market. In this session, we will discuss case studies on alliances between academia and industry related to UAS technologies and how those partnerships have helped or will help bring new products, systems, and services into the marketplace.


Moderator: Peter Boynton, CEO, Kostas Research Institute at Northeastern University

CASA - UMass Amherst/Raytheon Radar Concept Through Production
Apoorva Bajaj, Innovation Manager, CASA Engineering Research Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Ralph Stoffler, Senior Solutions Architect, Raytheon

Enabling the Future of Autonomous Navigation Through Research Partnerships for Rapid Innovation 
Thomas Vaneck, Vice President and Managing Director, AeroVironment Innovation Center – New England
Hanumant Singh, Professor, Kostas Research Institute at Northeastern University
Matthew Kling, ECUAS Lab Director, and Senior Research Scientist, Kostas Research Institute at Northeastern University

Realizing AI/ML in UAS via the Air Force AI Accelerator at MIT
Victor "Salsa" Lopez, Captain, U.S. Air Force | Chief of Artificial Intelligence, Massachusetts Institute of Technology AI Accelerator
Sertac Karaman, Associate Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3:10 PM
Commercial Break
Sponsored by Real-Time Innovations, Inc.
3:25 PM
Session Four
Using Collaboration to Develop a MA Roadmap and Drive AAM Innovation

This session will focus on making progress in the operational integration of unmanned and autonomous air systems by aligning government, industry, and academia around next-generation aviation and creating a roadmap for Massachusetts. On behalf of the State, MassDOT Aeronautics has goals that include Enabling UAS, Counter-UAS, AAM, and Test Ranges. It needs a roadmap to build support from state and local jurisdictions and the community. The industry needs to know if there will be a market, the market ground rules, and when the market will materialize. What are the critical questions we need to be asking, and what is the order in which we answer these questions? Academia will need to help us solve this puzzle. MassAutonomy will act as the glue and the grease between all these factions, facilitating the Commonwealth's understanding of the following questions: What public action is necessary to help develop the market? What are industry regulators and public funders likely to do? What are the further unknowns that academia might need to explore, and how should they be prioritized?


Moderator: Paige Scott Reed, Partner, Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Practice, Prince Lobel Tye LLP

What Role is Massachusetts Prepared to Play in Developing AAM?
Our fundamental goal is to have the most robust aviation system we can have, that always meets the needs of industry and the traveling public, that is always safe and secure, --and... To achieve those goals, we need to have a game plan for what we need to do, and when.
Dr. Jeffrey DeCarlo, Administrator, MassDOT Aeronautics Division
Joseph Donovan, Managing Director, Federal Strategies Team, Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough

What Does Industry Need to “See” to Justify Investment in (and Perhaps With) Massachusetts?
Will There Be a Market, What Will the Ground Rules Be, and When Will the Market Materialize?
Mr. Frank J. Serna, Principal Director, Strategic Initiatives, Draper
Billy Thalheimer, Aviation Consultant

How Can MassAutonomy Be the Glue and the Grease to Unlock AAM Development?
How Can We (All of Us) Collaboratively Lay a Foundation and Create a Roadmap to Align Efforts and Unleash the Massachusetts AAM Market?
Daniel Chiofalo, Director of Business Development, MassAutonomy
Richard Davey, Partner and Associate Director, Boston Consulting Group 

4:40 PM
Commercial Break
Sponsored by Autonodyne 
4:55 PM
Keynote Session

UAS Autonomy - Industry Update
Scott Newbern
Chief Technology Officer, AeroVironment

5:25 PM

The following small and large companies, academia, and government organizations presented their services, research, and innovations at the Virtual PitchFest. Click on the links below to connect with this year's pitch presenters.

Multi Capable Mission with Eyes on the Target
NRG Systems
Vertiport Wind Sensors for UAM Flight Safety
Risk Management for Autonomous Vehicles Through Telemetry Analysis
AirShare Systems
World’s Friendliest Guided Missile for Removing Drone Threats
AR and AI-Enabled Tool for Drone Mission Planning
UMass Transportation Center
Advancing Interdisciplinary Collaboration with Innovative UAS Technologies
Utilizing sUAS for Rail Vegetation Management
Long Range VTOL Aircraft Manufacturer for ISR and Cargo Missions


5:55 PM
Recap and Closing Remarks

Program Recordings

PitchFest Details

Not a speaker, but want to be heard? 

Introduce yourself to the New England unmanned systems ecosystem! 

Small and large companies, academia, and government organizations are invited to present their services, research, and innovations.

Interested speakers must be registered summit attendees or co-hosts. Opt for Virtual PitchFest participation when registering and submit a Pitch Application with a three-minute video no later than January 8. A small group of invited presenters will be invited to present once all submissions are received.




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