Robotica UAS Summit Fall 2021 Program


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

The Robotica UAS Summit Fall 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.  

*Speakers subject to change*

 ROBOTICA℠ UAS Summit Fall 2021
 Breaking Down Barriers to Operationalization
Wednesday, 17 November 2021 - Burlington, MA

7:30 AM - 5:00 PM


7:30 AM - 8:15 AM


8:15 AM - 8:40 AM

Welcome & Opening Remarks

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

Roman Hachkowski
President, NDIA New England

Paige Scott Reed
Counsel, MassAutonomy; Partner, Prince Lobel Tye LLP

8:40 AM - 10:00 AM

Executive Panel
Dual-Use Companies of the Future

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

Steven Wert
Program Executive Officer Digital, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, U.S. Air Force
How Do We Get There Faster?

Gregory L. Waters
Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer, MatrixSpace
Start-ups Fueling The Innovative Economy

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Commercial Break

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Session 1: Aerial Autonomy & First Responders
Transforming Disaster and Emergency Response with Operationalized Aerial Autonomy

This panel will explore how the First Responder community can significantly benefit from wide-scale adoption and operationalization of emerging Aerial Autonomy solutions. Currently, first responders use drones in single-vehicle “human in the loop” scenarios to provide enhanced situational awareness in emergencies; this has proven to be an incredible tool but doesn’t scale to future operations. Aerial autonomy at scale can provide far greater capabilities for ISR/SA and numerous other use cases. These include supplying high bandwidth comms to denied or degraded environments using aerial mesh networks, providing multiple coordinated eyes in the sky via aerial swarms, mapping indoor or outdoor areas using advanced and multi-modal sensing, and more. Join us to hear viewpoints from first responders, industry, and government and hear their critical insights into how new aerial autonomy capabilities will transform this industry.


Kevin Kelly
Chief Engineer, AFLCMC PEO Digital


Sergeant Detective Carl Blando (Emeritus-RET)
UAS Manager, Homeland Security Division, Boston Police Department

Deepu John
Solutions Engineer, Skydio; Former UAS Coordinator NYPD

Chief Charles Werner
Director, DRONERESPONDERS Public Safety Alliance

Michael O'Shea
Program Manager, FAA Office of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Session 2: Advanced Air Mobility
Systematically Addressing Needs in Order to Operationalize Advanced Air Mobility: What is Happening—or Should Be Happening—in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts stakeholders from government, industry, and academia have been actively studying Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) for several years. Starting as a working group, team members have worked to understand the opportunities for potential urban, rural, and regional air mobility markets and various use cases from on-demand air taxi, cargo, aeromedical, and more. A nonprofit named MassAutonomy has formally convened these stakeholders in an AAM Integration Task Force (ITF) subsequently selected to work with NASA on its ACO3 Community Integration effort. 

The AAM ITF has several lines of effort, starting with a market study of the basic facts and a Massachusetts roadmap. The AAM ITF will also conduct challenges, pilot AAM processes, capabilities, and support infrastructure. Initial activities have uncovered the importance of a synergistic, concurrent Massachusetts airport system planning effort that will align the AAM roadmap and address federal and state funding as well as the potential for public-private partnerships. The system plan will work hand-in-hand with the roadmap and will be dynamic and iterative as processes and systems evolve and mature.

The ITF and NASA efforts will leverage a cross-representative group from industry, academia, government funders, and development organizations. A core team of ITF founder participants are shaping the agenda and working with the larger NASA group and the extended stakeholder community. Progress is already being made with pilot infrastructure, including three-phase power for airports and vertiports, identification of potential pilot vertiport sites, and planning for pilot operational demonstrations.


Jonathan Songer
Senior Program Manager, Advanced Air Mobility, MassAutonomy


Andrew Bonney
Senior Vice President of Planning, Cape Air

Flavio Leo
Director, Aviation Planning & Strategy, Business & Strategic Planning, Massachusetts Port Authority

Marilyn G. Pearson
Global Regulatory Affairs Specialist in AAM/eVTOL/UAS, CAE

Peter H. Schmidt
Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Transcend Air Corporation

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Lunch & Virtual PitchFest

Want to know what's happening?
Grab your lunch and watch short videos submitted by researchers, start-ups, and government innovators in the UAS and AAM ecosystem.

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Keynote Session

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

Jeff Luckett
Head of UAS Strategy, RDT&E and Acquisitions, UPS Flight Forward

Experiences From the Field to Support Operationalization

Jim Murphy
System Architect, Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Mission, NASA
NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign & Use of Digital Engineering to Stimulate Operations

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Session 3: Counter-UAS & Airspace Security
Overcoming Barriers to Operationalization CUAS Technologies

While the spread of unmanned aircraft technology provides opportunities for novel applications, conveniences, and business models, it also presents challenges to the safety and security of operations in both the ground and air environments. Meeting the challenges of the counter-small unmanned aircraft system (CsUAS) problem requires navigating complex regulatory, technological, and operational issues.


Rudy Cuevas
Counter-UAS (C-UAS) Program Lead, MassDOT Aeronautics Division


Kevin Jinks
Senior Counsel, Office of Legal Policy, Department of Justice

Bethany Faber
Senior Program Manager, Counter-UAS, General Dynamics Mission Systems

Benjamin Wenger
Chief Revenue Officer, Dedrone

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Commercial Break

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Session 4: Regulations
Current State of Regulatory Affairs and Impact on Operationalization

The technologies to enable complex UAS operations, including Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight, are expanding faster than the regulations that permit employing those technologies in the National Airspace System. Currently, unmanned aircraft (UA) capable of flying long-range operations are available, but the aircraft certification process necessary for BVLOS operation may take years. Teams are using new localized weather tools for scheduling flights, but these new weather tools must go through a certification and approval process before they can be used as the primary weather data source for a UAS while in-flight. BVLOS Detect and Avoid (DAA) systems that could potentially utilize existing FAA surveillance data are unable to tap into that data because the process to share it with non-federal state entities has not yet been developed. This panel will explore the opportunities and tensions between the operators and technologists eager to push the operational boundaries, and the regulatory environment (including standards, certifications, and approval processes) that must be developed for operations to occur.


Dr. Scott A. Uebelhart
Chief Scientist, MassDOT Drone Program


Dr. Vijay Somandepalli
Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer, American Robotics, Inc.

Dr. Michael Guterres
Senior Principal, Unmanned Aviation, MITRE

Mack Martinez
Systems Engineer & Program Manager, FAA Office of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration

5:00 PM - 5:05 PM

Recap & Closing Remarks

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

Roman Hachkowski
President, NDIA New England

Paige Scott Reed
Counsel, MassAutonomy; Partner, Prince Lobel Tye LLP

5:05 PM - 8:00 PM


Meet the exhibitors, see the drones flying in the net, visit the anechoic chamber or network with your friends. Join us for an excellent opportunity to engage with the day's speakers and other leaders from the industry.

PitchFest Details

Not a speaker or exhibitor, but want to be heard? 

Introduce yourself to the New England UAS and AAM ecosystem over lunch.

Innovators in government, non-profits, universities, and start-ups are invited to present their UAS and AAM-related needs, services, research, and innovations.

Interested presenters must fill out an application during the registration process to indicate their interest in submitting a video. If invited to pitch, they must submit their videos no later than Wednesday, November 10 to be included in the program.




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