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5/14/12 - Drones on campus: MSU hosting UAS symposium

As drones capture headlines and pique the imagination of the American public, some of the nation's leading experts in unmanned aerial systems will be at Mississippi State next week for the 2012 UAS Symposium.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, May 14-16, the professional gathering will focus on the impact of remotely-piloted aircraft technology on research, defense, homeland security, law, and public policy.

The university and the Association of Unmanned Aerial Systems International-Mississippi are co-hosts for the special event.

The program features a lineup of speakers, panel discussions, flight demonstrations, and tours, all designed to explore the broader theme: "Breaking Through Barriers and Fielding the Technology."

"Our state is well positioned to continue to play a significant role in unmanned aerial systems research and development, as well as manufacturing," said David Shaw, vice president for research and economic development.

"This is one of the priority areas for research that we have established at MSU," Shaw emphasized.

Lead organizer Lori Bruce said participants "will explore the multi-faceted issues that are shaping how we build, deploy and use unmanned aerial vehicles.

"These technologies have revolutionized military operations and reconnaissance, and are playing ever greater roles in agriculture, disaster response and environmental monitoring to name a few examples," added the Bagley College of Engineering's associate dean for research.

Bruce also currently serves as interim director of MSU's internationally recognized Raspet Flight Research Laboratory.

Maj. Gen. James O. Poss, U.S. Air Force assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, will deliver the symposium's keynote address Tuesday [the 15th]. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, where he also received his officer commission through the AFROTC program.

Poss is responsible for policy formulation, planning, evaluation, oversight, and leadership of the military branch's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The general previously served as the director of intelligence at both Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Combat Command. Prior to his current assignment at USAF headquarters in Washington, D.C., he was a deputy chief of staff for intelligence.

Symposium sponsors include Aurora Flight Science, Northrop Grumman, Stark Aerospace, Selex Galileo Inc., The Aerospace Alliance, Mississippi Development Authority, Tenax Aerospace, Altavian, Area Development Partnership, Appalachian Regional Commission, and Golden Triangle Regional Airport.

Others include the Greater Starkville Development Partnership, Hancock County Development Commission, John Bell Williams Airport-Hinds Community College, Jackson County Economic Development Foundation Inc., Link, Mav6, Mississippi Power, Trent Lott International Airport, Tennessee Valley Authority, and North Mississippi Industrial Development Association.

Jim Laird | University Relations

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