October 23, 2017

Eastern Michigan to host inaugural Michigan Drone Conference Oct. 24

Event to bring together experts, researchers, organizations and students to discuss emerging issues, technology and funding in rapidly evolving field

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University will bring together guests from across Michigan representing the rapidly evolving realm of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in the inaugural Michigan Drone Conference, to be held in the EMU Student Center Tuesday, Oct. 24.

The conference, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature expert speakers, researchers, businesses leaders, scholars and others. It is open to EMU students who register for the event.

“The conference is the first step in bringing Michigan’s UAS community together,” said Melinda Marion, Director of Technology Transfer at EMU. “This conference is a platform to learn what’s new, to leverage the experience of others, to find funding and learn about resources from those contributing to the field.

“it’s an opportunity to create new alliances and become completely immersed in an area of technology that is important to our state and nation.”

Student can learn about a variety of aspects, including hardware, software, training programs and various areas of research. The use of drones is expanding exponentially, from various surveillance and mapping activities to public safety scenarios, such as sending a drone into a burning building.

Tickets are required for the day. However, there will be two open sessions that will not require a conference ticket. There will also be an exhibitors’ showcase in the Student Center, a walkthrough exhibit displaying various hardware and a video.

The two open sessions run from 11 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. They are separate talks by Colin Brooks, director of the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI); and EMU Research Compliance officer Sonia Chawla.

Brooks will talk about developing and implementing applications of UAS-enabled sensing through his research programs, including assessing transportation infrastructure and mapping invasive plants. These will demonstrate how rapidly developing UAS technology and new national rules are enabling easier deployment of these flexible platforms to meet real-world needs for high-resolution, multi-sensor aerial data. The talk will be in Room 300 of the Student Center.

Chawla will be there to answer any questions that relate to hardware or software that might be used as part of drone operations. She can also answer operator related questions. The United States currently maintains stringent export controls on military drones, as well as related components, systems, software, and technology, under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. Unmanned aerial systems that are not controlled by the ITAR, such as those designed and used for commercial or dual use reasons, are subject to the Export Administration Regulations. The talk will be in Room 302 of the Student Center.

The event offers LBC credit. For further information, contact Melinda Marion at 734-487-9237 or email her at mmarion3@emich.edu.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

Contact Geoff Larcom, glarcom@emich.edu, 734.487.4401

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