The 2018 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems

June 12 - 15, 2018

Dallas Marriott
City Center

Dallas, TX, USA

ICUAS'18 Program

Legal Track

The Legal Track Online Program is available.


All Tutorials / Workshops will take place on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. The location of all Tutorials / Workshops is on the Third Floor of the conference venue, see the map for room assignments. Tutorial/Workshop duration is either Full-Day (9:00 AM – 5:30 PM) or Half-Day (09:00 AM – 01:00 PM, or 1:00 PM – 05:00 PM).

Please click the title for a detailed description of each.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Location Title Duration
Bordeaux Tutorial 1: New Developments on Sense-and-Avoid (S&A), Fault-Tolerant Control (FTC) and Fault-Tolerant Cooperative Control (FTCC) Techniques for Unmanned Systems and their Applications Full Day
Normandy A Tutorial 2: Emerging sUAS Technology for Precision Agriculture Applications (AgDroneTech18) Half-Day
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Normandy B Tutorial 3: Autonomous Navigation for Aerial Robots in Extreme Environments: From Subterranean Environments to the Arctic Half-Day
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Champagne Tutorial 4: Towards Networked Airborne Computing: Applications, Challenges, and Enabling Technologies Half-Day
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Keynote Lectures

Acceptable Risk – Where You Stand Depends on Where You Sit

Andy Thurling –
Chief Technology Officer, NUAIR Alliance
NUAIR (the New York UAS Test Site)


Last June, Matt McFarland – a reporter on the CNN Technology beat, wrote an article entitled, "New Drone Rules Could Curtail Cell Tower Deaths". The article was referring to the newly released FAA rule allowing routine commercial use of small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The article quoted a 2014 US Occupational Safety and Health Administration statistic for communication tower climbers; a disturbing 13 on-the-job deaths in a community of only 15,000 workers making the job of ascending these towers to accomplish the required inspections one of the most dangerous jobs in the US. Using a small UAS to accomplish these inspections rather than putting a human in harm's way could indeed improve safety. The obvious question is, "why did this take so long?"

The author suggests that there is a fundamental asymmetry in the risk equation, i.e., the rule maker rarely gets credited for lives saved with a rule change but does gets blamed for things that go wrong with the new technology. Add to this the observation that the rule maker has no "skin in the game" – they are not performing their Regulator duties from a 100-foot-high perch, but rather from a more pleasant 20 inches or so - if Wikipedia is to be believed about the standard height of the average office chair.

The mathematician will tell you that this fundamental asymmetry exists because the regulator finds a "local" minimum for risk due to their lack of a more "global" perspective. The author sees the wisdom in this analysis, but translates it in his fighter-pilot brain into "where you stand, depends on where you sit".

In this presentation, the author will candidly discuss his experience with "Approval of RPAS Operations: Airworthiness, Risked-Based Methods, Operational Limitations" – from those early days of RTCA committee SC-203, EUROCAE WG-93, and Flight in Non-Segregated Airspace (FINAS) through the recent work being done by the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS). Personal experience with these groups and with many airworthiness standards, processes, and philosophies will be used to synthesize an approach for taking a wider perspective on risk – taking into consideration this asymmetry - when seeking to safety integrate UAS into our national airspace.

Short Bio:

Andy Thurling recently joined NUAIR, the New York UAS Test Center, as the Chief Technology Officer where he leads technical research on current and future UAS technologies, evaluates potential paths to implementation, industry standards for approval by regulators, and test techniques to verify compliance. Prior to NUAIR, Andy was Director of Product Safety and Mission Assurance at AeroVironment in Simi Valley, California. At AeroVironment, Andy led airworthiness, certification, and airspace access strategic efforts. He is active in standards bodies such as ASTM and RTCA and internationally with EUROCAE and as a subject matter expert to the JARUS working group developing the Specific Operational Risk Assessment process. Andy is a Distinguished Graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School. He has held several positions as a test pilot and as an instructor at the Test Pilot School. His career in the Air Force culminated as Commander of the Flight Test Squadron responsible for testing the nation's newest unmanned aircraft. Andy has over 2300 hours of flight time in more than 35 aircraft types and was awarded the 2011 AUVSI "Operations Award" for leading the flight testing of the liquid Hydrogen powered Global Observer.