7 December 2011
NMSU’s unmanned-aircraft conference
By Bill Diven


New Mexico’s status in developing unmanned aircraft systems continues to grow due in part to an annual national conference now in its 13th year.

When New Mexico State University launched its first conference on unmanned aircraft in 1998, it was one of a few such gatherings in the country and focused on civilian applications.

Since then military applications have risen to prominence, and the conference to be held Dec. 6-8 at the Tamaya resort at Santa Ana Pueblo as become a “must-attend event for industry and government leaders,” according to a statement from NMSU.

Shortened to UAS TAAC, the meeting is officially known as the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technical Analysis and Applications Center Conference.

NMSU itself is involved developing the military’s Vulture and leading the flight testing of the aircraft that will have a wingspan of 400 feet and weigh between 5,000 and 7,000 pounds.

The contract between NMSU’s Physical Sciences Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency was announced on Sept. 30.

The idea for the Vulture project and NMSU’s involvement began at a UAS TAAC Conference a few years ago, according to NMSU.

Global Network