Small Business Exposition for Small Unmanned Systems

The first ever small business exposition for small unmanned systems drew lineup of expert speakers, and a growing community of small business entrepreneurs who are making tremendous progress in this rapidly-growing field.

An octocopter and command truck were on display in front of the Golden Gate Club, in the San Francisco Presidio, for the conference.

Speakers at sUSBexpo: 2014

Chris Anderson

Chris is the CEO of 3D Robotics and founder of DIY Drones. From 2001 through 2012 he was the Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine. Before Wired he was with The Economist for seven years in London, Hong Kong and New York in various positions, ranging from Technology Editor to US Business Editor.

Leslie Levy August

Leslie Levy August has more than 25 years of experience in global trade facilitation with a specialty in temporary exports. She is a co-owner of Corporation for International Business aka boomerang carnets which provides over 7000 temporary export documents, to US companies exhibiting and selling overseas, annually.

As an evangelist for ATA Carnets, Ms. August provides ATA Carnet training for US organizations involved in product promotion, demonstrations and international trade fairs and exhibitions, helping them avoid payment of duties and taxes on temporary imports. Her blog hyper-focuses on global ATA Carnet news and activity with posts targeted to industries that rely on temporary exports to sell overseas. Leslie also moderates a LinkedIn ATA Carnet User and Discussion Group to serve the worldwide community of logistics professionals and carnet users.

Ms. August’s professional background began with The Roanoke Companies, a national insurance broker specializing in international trade surety and insurance where she was a Regional Vice President of the New York office as well as a Director. Her educational background includes an M.A. in Economics from DePaul University. She holds a Certified Global Business Professional designation and is a licensed Property and Casualty insurance broker in the state of California.

Geoff Bland

Geoff Bland is a Research Engineer based at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Wallops is a part of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and has traditionally brought quick response platforms and systems to the science community for world-wide deployments. Geoff has been working as part of Goddard’s Earth science program to develop and field unmanned aircraft and miniaturized sensor systems for a variety of scientific research activities since 1993.

Maha Calderon

Maha Calderon is a published writer and commercial photographer, as well as an FAA-certified flight instructor. Maha received her BA in journalism from Texas State University.

More about Maha

Gus Calderon, IsisCopter

Gus Calderon is a commercially rated FAA-licensed pilot with a  background in Geology and Environmental Science. He owns and operates IsisCopter, a small UAS manufacturing company.

His passion for aviation led Gus to start his own FAA Air Charter Operation in San Diego, California. He was granted an Air Carrier Certificate from the San Diego Flight Service District Office. After flying thousands of hours in turbine and high-performance aircraft, Gus realized that the escalating cost of aviation fuel and insurance was dimming the future of General Aviation.
View Complete Bio…

Doug Davis

Doug served as the Co-Chair of the ICAO UASSG, and the Vice-Chairman for EUROCAE WG-73. Doug resigned from the FAA in May/09, still staying in the Unmanned Aircraft community. Doug is currently with New Mexico State University Physical Science Laboratory where he is the Director for Global UAS Strategic Initiatives. Doug is co-chairing the SARP along with Dr. Steve Cook from Mitre and is the Civil Air Navigation Service Organization (CANSO) Representative to the ICAO UASSG. He is currently serving as the Technical Advisor to the Chairman of EUROCAE WG-73 and leads an independent team of UAS and Airspace Subject Matter Experts called the Global Airspace Integration Team (GAIT).

See full Bio

Patrick Egan,

Patrick Egan is the Editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS and Host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series.  He consults to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab, and has been in the unmanned aircraft field for 8+ years working as a proponent for the business use of unmanned aircraft systems.
View Complete Bio…

Jonathan Evans

Jonathan Evans is a dual-rated professional pilot and nine-year Army veteran. He’s a co-founder and the CEO of a Portland-based tech startup called Rising Tide Innovations that’s building software for commercial UAS operators and their clients. He also sits on the board of the Cascade chapter of AUVSI, and is the contest director for “Drone Prize 2014”; a national contest connecting drone enthusiasts with the public good.

Harshil Goel

Harshil Goel is the Chief Executive Officer of VIRES Aeronautics, overseeing daily operations, R&D, and business development. Harshil is the inventor of the VIRES UAV Control Surface.

Full bio

Danny Hajicek
Danny Hajicek started working with UAS in 2009 as a researcher and payload developer at the University of North Dakota’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Engineering laboratory.
During his time there, he performed research related to phased array software and antenna design and was a member of the team that took first place in the 2010 UAV Outback Search and Rescue Challenge in Queensland Australia.
Danny received his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from UND in 2011. He then began working with Field of View on their intelligent agricultural aerial imaging systems designed to help service providers reliably deliver desirable data to the ag market.

Gary Hethcoat

Gary is a software developer, product owner and lifelong aviation fan.  He’s been designing and building miniature aircraft and RPVs for over 20 years.  He is best known in the aviation community for his work on the Horten Ho 229 and the NatGeo documentary “Hitler’s Stealth Fighter“.  Gary is also leading a project to build a wildlife tracking drone for a large non-profit.  Gary lives in San Jose and works for Sunrun, Inc. in San Francisco.
Gary is designing and building a 3D printed drone to demonstrate the feasibility of making drones entirely by additive manufacturing.  This is a challenging undertaking with today’s low-end printers.  Gary will talk about the problems encountered and solutions discovered.

Todd Jacobs

Todd Jacobs, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is currently the Deputy Superintendent for Operations and Administration for the Channel Island National Marine Sanctuary and a Project Scientist with the NOAA UAS Program.  He has been with the NOAA National Ocean Service since 1989. His background includes facilitating research projects using research vessels, manned submersibles, aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems.  He has been the principal investigator on more than 20 UAS science missions and has been involved with the NOAA UAS Program since its inception in 2004.

Gabe Ladd

Gabe Ladd is CEO and Founder of Advanced Concepts Consulting. He has spent the last twelve years working with UAV/UAS for civilian applications. He specializes in sensor and data system design and analysis. He helps his clients to build and implement custom data systems using a mixture of COTs and custom hardware and software to produce data products and analyses that are delivered in standard methods for easy dissemination and communication.

Rory Paul Agricultural UAS

Rory has a very strong background and interest in all things technical! He started his working career in product engineering roles in the graphic arts and communication industry working for international companies and startups. His technical interest took him to the field of nondestructive testing and he started his own business in 2003 in South Africa. He relocated to the US in 2005 and continued this business while investigating the uses of UAV systems with specific applicability to the US agricultural sector.

Read full Bio

Douglas M. Marshall, J.D.

President, TrueNorth Consulting, LLC, an aviation consulting organization specializing in regulations, standards and legal issues relating to the integration of unmanned and remotely piloted aircraft into civil airspace.

Division Manager, UAS Regulations & Standards Development at the Physical Science Laboratory, New Mexico State University, previously a Professor of Aviation at the University of North Dakota. He has been engaged full time on UAS related activities for over 9 years, is the co-editor of two books related to aviation, co-author of the recently published “Introduction to Unmanned Aircraft Systems” and is the author of numerous published articles on aviation law, regulations and remotely piloted aircraft.

He has served on RTCA SC-203, ASTM F-38 and SAE G-10 Committees, the AUVSI Advocacy Committee, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program UAS Expert Group, the Small UAS Aviation Rulemaking Committee and the current UAS Aviation Rulemaking Committee. He has also served on the Steering Committee, Civil Applications of Unmanned Aerial Systems Conference, Boulder, CO. and several other committees dedicated to the development of UA systems and has delivered presentations on international aviation regulations and airspace issues at conferences around the world.

Lorenzo Martelletti

Lorenzo Martelletti is the Sales and Business Development Manager of Pix4D, a Swiss company and global leader in UAV processing software solutions. Mr. Martelletti holds a master degree in environmental engineering and has an academic experiences as a scientific collaborator on webgis at EPFL, an intern on remote sensing of vegetation at NASA Ames Research Center and as a researcher on near-surface geophysics at University of Florence. Prior to Pix4D, he has worked for international projects for geophysical and hydrographical surveying, biofuels and carbon offsetting in forestry operation.

Rich Kapusta Alta Devices

Rich is responsible for Alta’s overall product strategy, brand, and marketing communications. Rich has over 20 years of experience in technical, marketing, and business management roles. Rich joined Alta Devices from Microsemi Corporation, where he was Vice President of Marketing for their FPGA business via the acquisition of Actel. Prior to Actel, Rich held M&A and Product Line VP roles at Exar and Sipex. Rich began his career at Cypress Semiconductor where he spent 14 years in progressively more senior technical and marketing management roles. He has six issued patents, and a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Knut T Moe

Mr. Moe has an extensive background from strategic business development, market operations analysis and management of key UAS projects. He has lead several large industrial UAS asset projects for Europe’s largest oil company and Norway’s largest power utility company.

Prof. Marko Peljhan

Prof. Marko Peljhan founded the arts and technology organization Projekt Atol in the early90’s and co-founded Ljudmila, one of the first media labs in Eastern Europe, in 1995.

In the same year, he founded the technology branch of Projekt Atol called Pact Systems, where he developed one of the first Global Positioning System based participatory networked mapping projects, the Urban Colonisation and Orientation Gear 144. He has been working on the Makrolab, a global project that focuses on
telecommunications, migrations and weather systems research from 1997-2007, the Interpolar Transnational Art Science Constellation during the International Polar Year (project 417) and is currently coordinating the Arctic Perspective Initiative art/science/tactical media project focused on the global significance of the Arctic geopolitical, natural and cultural spheres.

Peljhan has been the flight director of ten parabolic experimental flights in collaboration with the Microgravity Interdisciplinary Research initiative and the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre.

In 2007 he co-founded C-Astral aerospace, a vertically integrated unmanned systems based company in Slovenia,  which was formed after eight years of research into unmanned systems in the arts and tactical media contexts. Prof. Peljhan is  also one of the initiators of the SPACE-SI space sciences and technologies center of excellence where he is coordinating international cooperation and the development and future utilization of a civilian, 2.5mGSD interactive remote sensing satellite.

He is the recipient of many prizes for his work and presented  at more than 500 conferences and venues in the last 15 years.

He holds a professorship at the  University of California Santa Barbara in the Art and Media Arts and Technology departments and  was appointed as Co-Director of the UC Institute for Research in the Arts in 2008,  where he is currently coordinating the art/science Integrative methodologies initiative.  He is the director of the  MAT Systemics laboratory, where among other  projects,  he is leading the development  of agile and  adaptable sensor networks.

One of his first critical projects in the unmanned systems context  has been the  SYSTEM-77 Civil Counter Reconnaissance project in 2004. (

C-ASTRAL currently produces one of the most  advanced small UAS systems for surveying and remote sensing (the BRAMOR gEO) and the C4EYE video imaging system.

Gene Robinson, RPFlight Systems, Inc.

Gene Robinson founded RPFlight Systems, Inc. in March of 2004 and performed the research and development required to produce the flying wing as a stable payload platform. Gene’s formal education is in aviation science and is a full scale pilot. Utilizing his professional background as a computer programmer/analyst, the marriage of software image analysis and the use of computers for enhancing images was utilized early on.

The small unmanned aircraft developed by RPFlightSystems have seen service in searches domestically from California, to Virginia, Wyoming to Texas and internationally in Mongolia, Mexico, Africa and Jamaica.
View Complete Bio…

Tim Saffold URS Corporation

Mr. Saffold leads URS’ integration of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) capabilities and projects for government and commercial clients globally. These capabilities include operations, maintenance, engineering support services, and interoperability studies and analysis. His team of experts have produced unique solutions and advanced the effective employment of UAS technology in a variety of settings.

He will present projects showing the increased usage of UAS for environmental purposes including wildlife surveying, vegetation mapping, and environmental monitoring. They will also discuss UAS capabilities for monitoring, surveying with quick data turnaround, and planning, design, and construction for large infrastructure sites.

Henri Seydoux CEO Parrot S.A.

Mr. Henri Seydoux Founded Parrot, Inc. and has been its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since June 2003. Mr. Seydoux founded Parrot S.A., in 1994 and has been its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since January 31, 1994. He serves as a Partner at H2i Technologies SA.

Mr. Seydoux began his career in 1978 as a Trainee at the French magazine Actuel, where he was later employed as a Journalist from 1979 to 1980. In 1981, he joined the sales team at the Matin de Paris newspaper. In 1982, he joined SSCI as an Operating System Software Developer.

He served as Operating System Software Developer of Microarchi from 1983 to 1984. In 1985, he set up BBS, a company marketing the micro archi operating system. In 1986, he created BSCA, a synthetic 3D imaging company and served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 1986 to 1990. In 1991, he co-founded Christian Louboutin, a luxury goods company and serves as its Director. Mr. Seydoux serves as a Director of Strapmedia, Mobinear and Maison Darre. He has been a Director of Schlumberger Limited since 2009. He has been a Director of Parrot S.A., since January 31, 1994

Colin Snow

Colin Snow is a manager for SAP’s mobility products (NYSE: SAP) and has a background in manufacturing, software development, marketing management, and industry research and analysis.  He operates Drone Analyst, a small UAS blog site and research firm.

Colin built and flew remote control model aircraft from high school through college. After earning an M.B.A. he worked in the medical imaging industry and later combined his passion for photography and aeronautics in 1992 to start practicing aerial photography from manned aircraft.  In 2010, he began doing aerial photography and video with multirotor helicopters. His volunteer work appears on the website of the Filoli mansion – one of the National Treasures of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Recognizing the market potential for small UAS in other industries, Colin started Drone Analyst with the aim of helping owners and investors of product and services firms with research and industry analysis.

 Vikki Stone

Vikki Stone is a veteran of the insurance and risk management industry, with more than 30 years of experience placing commercial and personal lines for middle market companies, manufacturers, distributors, property owners, technology firms, individuals and families. She is currently Senior Vice President at Poms Associates.

She was previously President of Stone, Harris & Stone, which was acquired by Poms & Associates in March 2012.

Vikki earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance/Business Administration from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business.

Victorias full bio

John Surmont

John’s professional experiences span combat action, military special projects to information technology startups. John has been instrumental in the successful development and integration of some of the earliest technical sensing capabilities to be fielded by the Department of Defense, Special Operations Forces and Naval Special Warfare. These capabilities include remote sensing, unattended ground sensing and GPS tracking systems.

Read Johns full bio

James (Jim) H. Williams Manager, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office

Jim Williams is the Manager of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Office. This office functions as the single agency focal point for  all UAS-related activities and is uniquely positioned to develop and coordinate solutions to UAS challenges across the FAA and with external organizations.

UAS are often described as the most disruptive aviation technology since the invention of the jet engine, and the FAA’s UAS Integration Office has the daunting challenge of accomplishing the safe, efficient, and timely integration of this technology into the National Airspace System (NAS), while balancing the political pressure and economic needs of the nation.

Small Business Exposition for Small Unmanned Systems

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