Last night Alta Devices hosted the February meeting of the Silicon Valley Chapter of AUVSI.
AUVSI is the Association of Unmanned Vehicles and the largest body representing the UAS industry.
Bob Parks, Sr. Technical Fellow at Aurora Flight Sciences, gave a fascinating talk as the night’s guest presenter. Beginning as a graduate of both MIT and Stanford’s Aeronautical Engineering schools and currently holding 16 patents he has dedicated his career to aerospace innovation. Bob spoke about his early career at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works developing the F-117 stealth fighter and then at Aurora working on VTOL, the ARES Mars airplane and Odysseus Z wing solar powered designs. Some design challenges he overcame included extremely tight timelines, folding wings to fit into compartments for launch and high altitude deployment.
During the event, Bob shared colorful stories of his work on several human powered flights such as the MIT Daedelus which was powered by a world class cyclist. He worked on the first UAV to cross the Atlantic (Aerosondes-Insitu) and several other record breaking flights for Red Bull, NASA and Aurora.
The night ended with many questions from the audience and some general networking. Many thanks to Bob for sharing so many great stories and we look forward to the next AUVSI event at Drone Deploy in San Francisco, March 28.