Unmanned Aerial Vehicles & Systems

Unmanned Aerial Systems Test Sites

The FAA selected six UAS Test Sites to "promote critical research into the certification and operational requirements necessary to safely integrate these systems into our national airspace."

The six UAS Test Sites:

UAS Test Site resources:

FAA Center of Excellence - UAS

The FAA establishes Air Transportation Centers of Excellence in partnership with Universities.  The FAA has now proposed to establish a Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (COE - UAS), where they would provide matching funds for UAS research:

Unmanned Aerial Systems News

  • AIN Online: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles  Covers civil and military UAS, UAVs, and RPAS of all kinds and sizes, including those used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), combat (unmanned combat air vehicles, or UCAVs), law enforcement, research and other applications.
  • All Things That Fly  An audio podcast that covers R/C but also sUAS topics.
  • droneport  Impartial original reporting for those who build, fly, operate, and maintain drones.
  • sUAS News  Small Unmanned Aircraft System industry news for professionals.
  • UAS Vision  An independent global forum for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems community with a daily news service covering Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).
  • The UAV Digest  A weekly audio podcast covering unmanned aerial vehicles and systems.
  • Uvonline.com  A global news and business information service for the unmanned systems community.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles & Systems

  • 3D Robotics  Provides fully-autonomous aircraft and open-source UAV technology that deliver professional performance.  Ready-to-fly vehicles and components are available for purchase in the Online Store.
  • A2TECH - Advanced Aviation Technology  Their primary focus is the development of a new generation of unmanned vehicle Ground Control Cockpits and avionic solutions for civil applications.
  • AAI Corporation  Produces unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), including the Shadow 200 and Shadow 600 models.
  • Aerial Information Systems Corporation  AISC provides a range of remote sensing and advertising products and services using small UAVs.  AISC also builds its own line of small UAVs and payloads.
  • Aerialtronics International  Design, production, and service of unmanned aircraft systems. Their core product line is the four and eight-rotor Altura multicopters.
  • Aeryon Labs Inc.  Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS), including the Scout and SkyRanger quadcopters, as well as imaging and custom payloads.
  • Aerosight Innovations  An unmanned aircraft distributor and manufacturer that promotes civil uses of such designs.  Offering video and still camera solutions for remotely piloted vehicle applications, including aerial photography, airborne media presentations, and surveillance.
  • The Aerosonde Robotic Aircraft  A small, economic, and operationally flexible UAV with a flight capability in excess of 30hrs/3000km and designed for meteorological and environmental observations, and surveillance over oceanic, remote, and hazardous areas.
  • Aero Telemetry Corporation  Designs and manufactures full-sized unmanned air vehicles, as well as integrated telemetry systems and related subsystem components for military and commercial applications.  Also, they sell and service Microdyne telemetry related products.
  • AeroVironment  Develops breakthrough aerial vehicles for a wide range of applications, including unmanned aircraft for communications, reconnaissance and research, as well as high-altitude unmanned solar-electric airplanes.
  • Aibotix GmbH  Producing the Aibot X6 hexacopter for the industrial inspection, aerial mapping, film, and science industries.
  • Airborne Autonomous Systems  AAS's primary focus is pursuing the civil and commercial UAV market with a proprietary aircraft (HOVTOL).  AAS expects to make manned versions in addition to UAV's.
  • Arcturus UAV  Standard configuration and application-specific fixed-wing airframe design and manufacturing.
  • Army Technology: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles  A good source for detailed data and reference information about UAVs.
  • Ascending Technologies  AscTec multicopters for aerial imaging, industrial inspection, and remote sensing.
  • Aurora Flight Sciences  Develops robotic aircraft, rapid prototyping of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), composite and metal manufacturing, fault-tolerant software, and UAV flight services.
  • Brock Technologies Inc.  Offers a broad range of innovations for the Unmanned Systems market, including aerial and ground systems, sensors, custom composites, field support equipment, and software.  The team of engineers and technicians focus on supporting customers in the research, military, and commercial arenas by providing integrated solutions.  They produce the AV8-R and EEL UAV along with a variety of support equipment for unmanned systems.
  • Challis-Heliplane UAV  Smooth easy transition from hover to cruise, excellent control in the hover, capable of autorotation-engine off emergency landing, capable of high rate of descent, can be scaled to meet various civilian or military needs.
  • Cyberhawk  Remotely Operated Aerial Vehicles (ROAVs) for industrial inspections and land surveying.
  • Elbit Systems  Offers a range of UAS, from the man-portable SkylarkŪ I-LE mini UAS, through tactical UAS, and up to the HermesŪ 900 medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAS.
  • General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.  Dedicated to the design, development, and manufacture of unmanned aircraft surveillance systems and associated hardware.
  • Insitu  Design, development, production, and operation of high-performance, unmanned aircraft systems, including the ScanEagle, Integrator System, and RQ-21A Blackjack.  A Boeing Company.
  • Integrated Dynamics  Design, consultancy, and turn-key project commissioning for Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle (UAV) and Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) systems.  Target and decoy UAVs, surveillance UAVs, flight control and navigational systems, ground control stations, and more.
  • intelliDrones  Supplies aerial photography and surveillance systems in the commercial space: from single drone aerial photography to multi-mission surveillance and monitoring services for companies, organisations, and even individuals.
  • Israel Aerospace Industries  Supplies aerial photography and surveillance systems in the commercial space: from single drone aerial photography to multi-mission surveillance and monitoring services for companies, organisations, and even individuals.
  • Latitude Engineering  Engineering, operations, and training relating to Unmanned Aerial Systems.  Developing a new concept in VTOL flight for unmanned systems.
  • Lonsan Aircraft  Unmanned RPV RC airships with a 1000 meter control range, 30 KM range UAV airships, one-man airships, and tethered airships.
  • Marcus UAV Systems  Manufacturer of the low-cost Marcus UAV systems for distribution to the private sector.  These offer video and sound on demand, and are an alternative to flying traditional aircraft for surveillance, aerial photography, exploration, disaster recovery, and other uses.
  • Mist Mobility Integrated Systems Technology Inc.  MMIST produces the SnowGoose UAV, an aerial cargo delivery UAV with up to 575 pounds of autonomous cargo delivery.  Safe and accurate delivery of critical supplies and aerial services in support of search and rescue, humanitarian relief, and military operations in hostile environments.  Also, they produce GPS-guided parachute delivery systems in use by various national military organizations.
  • MLB Company  A manufacturer of small, low-cost UAV's.  Complete turn-key systems, UAV flight services, instruction, and custom UAV's including VTOL designs.
  • Northrop Grumman  A manufacturer unmanned systems, including the Global Hawk, Firebird, Fire Scout, Euro Hawk, SandShark, and others.
  • Proxy Aviation Systems, Inc.  Develops advanced Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for use by the United States military, the Department of Homeland Security, and in emerging civil and international applications. Proxy offers two unmanned air vehicle platforms: the SkyWatcher and the SkyRaider heavy payload UAV. The aircraft operate concurrently in flight, with as many as 12 air vehicles, to achieve Group Tactical Goals, under the SkyForce Distributed Management System (DMS).
  • Quadrocopter  providing solutions for multirotor aerial video / photo applications with an online store offers a selection of multi-rotor and aerial related products.
  • Ritewing RC  Offering the Zephyr fixed-wing ARF kit, and also the Spade.
  • Rotomotion  Designs, manufactures, and operates helicopter robots (UAV) and aerial robotic systems designed to be affordable aerial platforms for small cameras and other sensor payloads for aerial photography, surveillance, and research.
  • Silvertone UAV  This UAV design comes from a need for a low capital cost surveillance tool for large farm and property owners.  It has a mission duration of 10 hours and a quick change payload pannier that can be replaced to re-configure the aircraft quickly for different missions.
  • Soko Z.I.  An aerospace company located in Zagreb, Croatia with a multidisciplinary team developing high-tech products such as unmanned aerial vehicles and flight simulators.
  • SteadiDrone  Quadcopters, camera gimbals, flight controllers, downlink kits.
  • Titan Aerospace  Solar powered aircraft designed to operate at 65,000 feet for five years as "Atmospheric Satellites" providing imaging, voice and data services.
  • Trimble  Trimble UAS Aerial Imaging solutions for aerial surveys.

Unmanned Aerial System Components & Systems

  • Advanced Microwave Products  AMP designs and manufactures rugged RF and microwave products for UAV, military, and surveillance applications, including compact UHF, L-band, S-Band, and C-band video transmitters and receivers.
  • Aegis Electronic Group, Inc.  A distributor for cameras and peripherals for UAVs and other related applications.  Experienced with imaging, technical support, and integration of imaging equipment for technical applications.
  • Airborne Innovations  A supplier of advanced UAV systems including SatCam imaging for UAV's, and Aircraft Icing Conditions Detection systems.  SatCam is a miniature satellite communications imaging solution, compatible with the Iridium satellite network, that enables remote imaging anywhere in the world, anytime, for small over the horizon capable UAVs.  The system combines the best available low bandwidth optimized image compression technology with a robust image transmission protocol capable of transmitting streaming still images over ultra low bandwidth links.
  • Analytical Graphics Inc.  UAV and aircraft mission analysis software.
  • Avalon RF  State-of-the-art wireless links that include receivers, transmitters, remote display units (RDU's) and a variety of specialized antennas.  Applications include unmanned vehicles, as well as security, broadcasting and cinematography, and consumer (fast H.264 over POTS Lines).
  • CDL Systems  Delvelops Vehicle Control Station Software (VCS), an intergrated command control and information system for the control and monitoring of unmanned aerial, land, and sea based vehicles.  The VCS 4586 complies with NATO's 4586 UAV interoperability standards and is currently being utilized in the US Army's "One System."
  • Controp USA  A privately owned company specializing in the development and production of Electro-Optical and Precision Motion Control Systems, including stabilized observation payloads for surveillance and directional antenna pedestals for UAV's.
  • Guided Systems Technologies  Development and application of advanced guidance, navigation, and control system technology for a variety of fixed and rotary-wing UAV systems.  Estimation, path planning, obstacle/collision avoidance products and technology, as well as R&D, engineering, integration, and flight services.
  • IATech  Manufactures and develops a suite of integrated GPS IMU, GPS INS, orientation sensors for unmanned air vehicles (UAV), unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV), and specialized remote sensing applications.
  • ING Robotic Aviation  Airborne sensing solutions and commercial services.
  • Meggitt Defense Systems  A designer and manufacturer of aerial towed vehicle systems and related equipment for special applications.  (Threat simulation scenarios for combat readiness training, and weapon testing evaluation.)
  • MicroPilot  Low-cost miniature autopilots suitable for UAV and RPV use which provide airframe stabilization and autonomous GPS navigation.  Many UAV experimenter's links.
  • MosaicMill Ltd.  Provides EnsoMOSAIC UAV software for automatic calculation of rectified image mosaics from digital camera imagery captured by UAV systems.  EnsoMOSAIC processes accurate Google Earth and GIS-ready image maps.
  • Northwest UAV Propulsion Systems  NWUAV builds UAV engines and support systems to meet the high volume demands of companies that utilize Unmanned Engine Systems required in air, land and sea vehicles.
  • RCAT Systems  Manufacturer of wireless electronics and data acquisition/telemetry solutions for unmanned systems and experimental aircraft.
  • Robonic Ltd.  Site for pneumatic UAV launchers.
  • Team Blacksheep  Components and upgrades for sUAS.
  • Teledesign Systems, Inc.  A manufacturer of wireless modems and radio modems for commercial and industrial applications, including UAV operation.  Their radio modem sends "radio data" across narrow band spectrum or narrow band licensed spectrum.
  • Teledyne Technologies  Gas turbine engines for unmanned military aircraft, including remotely piloted vehicles, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
  • Ucman Aviation Company  A recovery parachute manufacturer for different types of UAV's.  The system contains a deployment bag, pilot chute, riser and connector link.
  • Unav, Inc.  Low-cost INS/GPS autopilot systems for unamanned guidance and control.
  • weControl  Flight control systems for unmanned aerial vehicles.

UAV Services

  • Composite Technology Team  A small innovative firm with experience in design and manufacture of composite structures.  The company offers full UAV service - design, prototyping, production, and testing of UAV's.  Experience includes the NT150 UAV project for Swiscopter and Higheye helicopters.
  • Flint Hills Solutions  An advanced technology and services company with emphasis on the Aerospace and Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) market.  They are a partner to many Original Equipment Manufacturers of Unmanned Systems as well as the Kansas National Guard.  They offer a full range of UAS products and services focused on Homeland Security as well as State and Local Emergency Response.  In addition, FHS specializes on integrating your payloads onto their UAV platforms to meet your unique requirements and needs.
  • Hawkeye UAV Ltd  Miniature UAV services using the Defence Technology Agency's "Kahu" UAV in New Zealand.
  • ISR Group, LLC  Providing highly skilled manpower and contracted support for the development and deployment of unmanned vehicle systems in the areas of research and development, production, operations, maintenance, and training.
  • Simlat Ltd.  A provider of next generation mission-training solutions for the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle/System (UAV/UAS) and the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) industry.  Simlat provides high-end ISR and UAV/UAS mission training systems and simulators and additional professional services and instructors.
  • UAV Advanced Systems Ltd  Advanced design of UAV aircraft and avionics packages, including UAV training systems.
  • Unmanned Experts  Provision of targeted solutions to specific UAV / UAS requirements, management or mentorship of UAV / UAS programs, UAS training course development and instruction, on-call dedicated UAS / UAV subject matter experts.

UAV Schools and Training


  • The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International  AUVSI is the world's largest non-profit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems community.  AUVSI, with members from government organizations, industry and academia, is committed to fostering, developing, and promoting unmanned systems and related technologies.
  • ASTRAEA  Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation & Assessment seeks to enable the routine use of UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) in all classes of airspace without the need for restrictive or specialised conditions of operation.  A UK industry-led consortium focusing on the technologies, systems, facilities, procedures and regulations that will allow autonomous vehicles to operate safely and routinely in civil airspace over the United Kingdom.
  • Australian Certified UAV Operators Inc.  ACUO is a not for profit association created to protect the interests of CASA Certified UAV Operators and promote the growth and expansion of the commercial UAS industry in Australia.
  • Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation  ARCAA conducts research on aviation automation, with a focus on autonomous technologies which support the more efficient and safer utilisation of airspace, and the development of autonomous aircraft and on-board sensor systems for a wide range of commercial applications.
  • ConservationDrones.org  Sharing knowledge of building and using low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles for conservation-related applications with conservation workers and researchers worldwide, especially those in developing countries.
  • ERAST  The Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology program is the U.S. national program for developing remotely piloted aircraft for scientific, humanitarian, and commercial purposes.  Sponsored by NASA.
  • FAA: Unmanned Aircraft Systems  Covering the FAA UAS initiative: UAS roadmap and plan, test sites, general information.
  • FLAVIIR  A research program looking at technologies for future unmanned air vehicles (UAV) funded jointly by BAE SYSTEMS and EPSRC.  The challenge is "to develop technologies for a maintenance free, low cost UAV without conventional control surfaces and without performance penalty over conventional craft."
  • FPV UK  A non-profit organization for "first person view" pilots.  FPV UK works with the regulator for UK aviation, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), on matters pertaining to FPV and recreational model flying.
  • National Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Project Office  The goal of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Project Office is to support the integration of UAS technology into the process employed by USGS scientists to support informed decision making across the Department of the Interior.
  • Remote Control Aerial Photography Association  A professional association of dedicated remote control aerial photographers.  RCAPA provides operational safety guidelines, best business practices, networking and new technology information.
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association  UAVS is a non-for-profit membership organisation which promotes its members and their and industry's interests.  It represents the UAS manufacturing and system integration industry to UK government and UK regulators.

UAV User Groups

UAS Conferences and Events

  • sUSB Expo  8-9 May, 2014, San Francisco.  The Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition.  Workshops and presentations by industry leaders.
  • AUVSI Unmanned Systems  12-15 May, 2014, Orlando, Florida.  Industry speakers and an exhibition hall.
  • The 2014 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems  27-30 May, 2014, Orlando, Florida.  A workshop/tutorial day, followed by a three-day technical Conference.
  • UAV Payloads 2014 Conference  17 June, 2014 - 19 June, 2014, London, United Kingdom.  Dedicated exclusively to exploring UAV payloads, the conference will focus upon SIGINT/EW, EO/IR and SAR systems for tactical, MALE and HALE vehicles alongside discussions on the weaponisation of UAVs. Also to be considered will be the need to meet the shortcomings in communication and data feeds to support the development of detection and avoidance technology.
  • Ohio UAS Conference  August 26-28, 2014, Dayton, Ohio.  A forum to establish UAS community partnerships with key officials and representatives from both government and industry to examine the requirements for access into the National Airspace System (NAS) by focusing on research needs, recent developments, critical capability gaps and directions in the industry.
  • The Commercial UGV Show  October 21-22, 2014, London.  A marketplace for UAV service providers and end-users to learn about this industry.  Collocated with the UAV and UMV show.  Learn from a range of case studies about how people in many sectors are saving money and achieving increases in productivity and reliability through careful application of unmanned systems and technology.
  • Unmanned Systems Canada, 2014 Annual Conference  November 4-6, 2014, Montreal.  Presentations and networking events.

Other UAS Sites

  • Droned Up  A multi-rotor social network with forums, videos, reviews.
  • FAS - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)  A very good source for UAV information with an overview, UAV categories, vehicle descriptions, photos, and specifications.  Also links to sources and resources.  From the Federation of American Scientists Intelligence Resource Program.
  • The Good Drone  "The latest news on how drones are being used, in a good way."
  • Taking Autism to the Sky  The TATTS project uses an sUAS to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  • UAV Marketspace  This web portal is focused principally on commercial (civil) UAV use and application, but it also has a significant set of military UAV airframe resources and links.  You can spend a lot of time exploring this site and learning a great deal about this subject.
  • Unmanned Vehicles  A quarterly publication with a mission to convince key policy makers in industry and governments of the capabilities offered by UVs in difficult environments.

UAS in Agriculture

  • Drones (UAVs) and Agriculture  A blog about using drones for precision agriculture.
  • Farming Drones  News and content covering UAVs in the agriculture industry.
  • Precision Drone LLC  Manufactures hexacopters for use by farmers in assessing the health of their crops.
  • RoboFlight  Turning geo-referenced aerial and/or satellite remotely sensed data into actionable information.  They specialize in processing of imagery from airborne and satellite platforms for agricultural and natural resource management needs in industries including: agriculture, livestock, environmental, wildlife, utilities, and insurance.
  • The Unmanned Farmer  The occasional blog of Robert Blair, a Precision Ag Institute Farmer of the Year, and advocate of UAVs in farming.

Aerial Photography and Inspections

  • AerialWorx  A specialist aerial filming and photography company with UK-wide coverage using remotely controlled multi-rotor copters.
  • Aerocamera  Offering a wide range of equipment for aerial photography and video in Brazil, such as RC helicopters and blimps, camera carriers, telescopic masts and special products.  Aerial photo and video services.  Consulting about UAV for agriculture and inspection services.
  • Gunn Photography Services  Aerial photography using UAV helicopters equipped with the Canon 50D and 7D.  Based in Atlanta Georgia.
  • High Alpha Media  High definition close range aerial video and photography by a CASA-approved (Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia) operator of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for the purpose of aerial video and photography work.
  • Multicopter Maui  Low altitude high detailed media for marketing projects.
  • SkyCamUSA  Remote control aerial photography and videography employing a fleet of unmanned aircraft, primarily helicopters capable of high quality digital photography and HD video.  They can fly in areas where full size aircraft cannot.

Wildlife Management

  • The Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge  The Challenge is to design low cost UAVs that can be deployed over the rugged terrain of Kruger, equipped with sensors able to detect and locate poachers, and communications able to relay accurate and timely intelligence to Park Rangers.