Compiled by the editorial staff of eVTOL.com


Upcoming VFS webinar spotlights autonomous vertical flight

Leading experts will discuss “Progress Towards Autonomous Vertical Flight” in a half-day webinar on Monday, Aug. 10, hosted by the Vertical Flight Society (VFS).

Near Earth Autonomy autonomous terrain reconstruction
Near Earth Autonomy’s drones evaluate landing sites through rapid three-dimensional reconstruction of terrain using onboard lidar. Near Earth CEO Sanjiv Singh is a keynote presenter at VFS’s upcoming autonomy webinar. Near Earth Autonomy Image

Sponsored by Near Earth Autonomy and supported by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the online workshop will address the challenges, progress and applications of autonomy in vertical-lift aircraft including eVTOLs. More information and registration for the event is at www.vtol.org/xpo-2020.

The program will be chaired by Graham Warwick, executive editor for technology at Aviation Week. It will encompass three topic areas, each featuring a keynote presenter and discussion panel.

In the first session, Sanjiv Singh, CEO of Near Earth Autonomy, will present the case for autonomy, followed by a discussion on “Enabling Autonomy” with Luuk van Dijk, CEO of Daedalean; Francis Govers, platform autonomy lead at Bell; and Maxime Gariel, chief technology officer of Xwing.

The second session will feature Wisk CEO Gary Gysin outlining the process for “Designing for Autonomy.” Steve Jacobson, CEO of Autonodyne; Dave Merrill, CEO of Elroy Air; and Igor Cherepinsky, director of Innovations at Sikorsky, will take part in the corresponding panel discussion on “Applying Autonomy.”

In the final session, U.S. Air Force Col. Nathan Diller, director of AFWERX and the Air Force’s Agility Prime lead, will present “Applying Autonomy in Operations.” This will be followed by a panel discussion on “Certifying Autonomy” with Daniel Moczydlower, president and CEO of EmbraerX; Wes Ryan, unmanned and pilotless aircraft technology lead for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration; and Steve Cook of Northrop Grumman, representing the work by standards development organization ASTM International.

This is the fourth annual autonomy panel organized by VFS. The panel has historically been held at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL trade show, which had been planned for the week of Aug. 10. With XPONENTIAL’s postponement and eventual conversion to a virtual event due to COVID-19, “Progress Towards Autonomous Vertical Flight” is now a stand-alone webinar.

The annual panel is organized by AUVSI and VFS members Ajay Sehgal of KBR and Barbara Lindauer of Sikorsky, and by VFS director of strategic development Jim Sherman. Registration is $50 for VFS members and $100 for non-members, or $25 for students.

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