Michael McRae, left, and Dan Beck are awarded the Order of Prometheus by the Pathfinder Chapter of the Association of Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International at their 2022 conference, held at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Michael McRae, left, and Dan Beck are awarded the Order of Prometheus by the Pathfinder Chapter of the Association of Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International at their 2022 conference, held at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. (Photo Credit: Katie Davis Skelley, DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Sept. 8, 2022) – It was evident from this year’s Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International-Pathfinder Chapter conference that the future is bright for the Army’s unmanned aircraft systems technology.

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center supports the conference each year to ensure customers, industry, academia and the local youth community can see what opportunities are available at the DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center and the support the Center provides the warfighter. AUVSI is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of uncrewed systems and robotics, with more than 60 countries involved.

“The conference provided me with a wonderful opportunity to interact with many of our customers and fellow engineers supporting PEO Aviation,” said Dr. Greg Reynolds, navigation technical area lead, at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center. “I was honored to be invited to speak about some of the navigation solutions that DEVCOM AvMC is working in support of PM-UAS and their current and future autonomy missions. We have numerous efforts throughout the Center in support of the Modular Open Systems Approach that are creating more opportunities for academia, industry collaboration, and for our science and technology work to be transitioned into these systems.”

Dr. Greg Reynolds, DEVCOM AvMC, addresses attendees at the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International-Pathfinder Chapter conference.
Dr. Greg Reynolds, DEVCOM AvMC, addresses attendees at the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International-Pathfinder Chapter conference. (Photo Credit: Katie Davis Skelley, DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

Reynolds was one of two senior scientists from DEVCOM AvMC who presented briefings to attendees on AvMC’s UAS work. He and Technology Development Directorate Chief Scientist Dr. Marvin Moulton spoke on strides the Center is making and the integral part it serves in the Army’s overall UAS mission.

“We're all connected,” Moulton said of the Center’s place in Army Futures Command, the four-star command overseeing major modernization strides for the Army. “We're not all disparate pieces trying to do our own thing. Sometimes feels like that and seems like that, but we work hard to try to collaborate across all lines.”

DEVCOM AvMC Technology Development Directorate Chief Scientist Dr. Marty Moulton briefs the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International-Pathfinder Chapter conference.
DEVCOM AvMC Technology Development Directorate Chief Scientist Dr. Marty Moulton briefs the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International-Pathfinder Chapter conference. (Photo Credit: Katie Davis Skelley, DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

Also at the conference, two AvMC team members, Dan Beck and Michael McRay, were awarded the Order of Prometheus for excellence in their fields.

Middle school and high school budding scientists demonstrated their own robotics creations at the conference, held at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center -- inspiring the engineers and Army leaders in attendance.

“It is profoundly impactful to see the things they are doing in middle and high school that I couldn’t imagine doing in college when I was studying mechanical engineering. There is tremendous capability in our youngsters and we need to nurture that,” said Maj. Gen. Walter Rugen, keynote speaker for the conference’s awards luncheon.

For Reynolds, it is an exciting time to be in the field of UAS and those young STEM students will have opportunities to put their creative minds to work – especially if they come to AvMC.

"When I started working at AvMC almost 20 years ago, the senior scientists told me, ‘Most of the things you will develop are going to die at Technology Readiness Level 6.’ I am happy to say I have not found that to be the case."

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The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.