The Association of Unmanned Systems International (AUVSI) XPONENTIAL 2019 — held this year at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL — brings together 8,500 technologists, regulators and users across commercial and defense sectors for the largest, most comprehensive trade show for unmanned and autonomous systems.

As adoption spreads and applications expand, XPONENTIAL is the one event that brings together the entire unmanned systems community to share ideas, collaborate across markets, capitalize on best practices and emerging trends and harness the power of unmanned technology for your business.

XPONENTIAL runs from 29 April to 2 May and the overarching program schedule is here. Key user tracks are as follows Drone Tech User Track, Policy Track, Public Safety UAS Track, Technology Track, and Trending Topics Track

AUVSI’s Nick Adde reports that as AUVSI President and CEO Brian Wynne introduced Tuesday’s keynote speakers at Xponential 2019, he first pointed out that the biggest challenges facing the professionals in the audience involve convincing a generally skeptical public that the new technologies they are fostering will improve their quality of life. Wynne called for “complete agreement that the number one thing we need to work on is pubic acceptance.”

Among the 684 XPONENTIAL exhibitors are a significant number of companies with strong/direct interest in the Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal contracting opportunities. These companies, and their XPONENTIAL booths/offerings include:

  • AeroVironment (Booth 1631) – is a world leader in the design and manufacturing of small Unmanned Aircraft System solutions for both military and commercial applications. AV manufactures Raven, Puma AE, Switchblade, and Wasp AE.
  • Altavian (Booth 2800) is a privately held U.S.-based Unmanned Aircraft System design, manufacturing, and solutions provider. Our extensive history includes working alongside organizations including U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NASA, and the U.S. Army. We embrace open architectures in our systems design to bring proven commercial concepts to Group I UAS.
  • Arcturus UAV (Booth 1416) is an industry leader in tactical unmanned aircraft systems for Military ISR. The T-20 and JUMP-20 aircraft lead their class in payload, endurance and reliability. Our systems have a small logistical footprint, are runway independent, and fuel efficient, allowing maximum flexibility for the user.
  • Aurora Flight Sciences (Booth 1407), a Boeing Company, is a world leader in the development of highly autonomous aircraft. Our mission is to change the way we travel by applying autonomy and robotics to the development, production and operation of advanced aircraft. Visit us in the Boeing booth # 1800 to learn about our Orion MALE UAS and our Centaur OPA
  • Ballard Unmanned Systems offers a complete UAV fuel cell solution. Unmanned systems powered by fuel cells operate longer than their battery counterparts, with the same benefits of low thermal and noise signature. Users see improved reliability over small internal combustion engines, providing safe and low maintenance operation.
  • Black Peak Engineering (Booth 2221), formerly known as Scion UAS, develops Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned and Optionally Manned aerial systems to over 1,200lbs Max Take-Off Weight (MTOW) We also offer Ground Control Stations, Antenna systems, Payload integration, Engineering services as well as advanced CNC machining and Composite parts for the UAV sector.
  • Collins Aerospace (Booth 1120) — Created in 2018 by bringing together UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins, the company isa leader in advanced and intelligent solutions for the aerospace and defense industry.
  • Diamond Aircraft (Booth 3609) — produces a full range of high quality certified all composite single and twin engine aircraft including the 2 seat DA20, 4 seat DA40, 7 seat DA50, the 4 seat DA42 and 7 seat DA62, the remote sensing turnkey solutions DA42 MPP and DA62 MPP, the aerobatic tandem trainer series DART as well as type-specific flight training simulators.
  • FLIR Systems (Booth 3624) — With a broad selection of drone imagers covering a wide range of performance and features, FLIR has solutions for every mission profile and budget. See how FLIR thermal and visible cameras specifically designed for unmanned aerial platforms are changing the way the world looks across a wide range of applications.
  • Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Booth 226) specializes in unmanned systems, satellite communications, cyber security/warfare, microwave electronics, missile defense, hypersonic systems, training and combat systems.
  • MAG Aerospace (Booth 2031) is a leader in providing and enabling real-time situational awareness to help its customers make the world smaller and safer. MAG delivers full spectrum ISR services to customers around the world. MAG’s team of 1,500+ professionals operate 200+ manned and unmanned special mission aircraft, delivering ~100,000 flight hours annually.
  • NextVision Stabilized Systems (Booth 936) is the market leader in the field of micro stabilized gimballed cameras. We offer the widest range of field-proven stabilized cameras and accessories for industrial and security applications. NextVision’s products are the preferred choice where low SWaP2 (Size, Weight, Power & Price) without compromising performance is a key requirement.
  • Northrop Grumman will be highlighting Firebird capabilities with potential suppliers and business partners at XPONENTIAL. Firebird (see below) is an ultra-flexible, proven airframe with autonomous mission capability. Available in manned, autonomous and optionally piloted configurations, Firebird is designed to provide ISR payload and cockpit flexibility through truly open architecture and plug-and-play payload integration. The system’s unique hardware- and software enable users to carry out a wide range of ISR missions for 30 plus hours at approximately 25,000 feet. 
  • PAE ISR (Booth 4031) provides ISR solutions and services to U.S. government agencies, NATO and other international organizations. As a lead systems integrator and full-service provider for UAS, PAE ISR has significant experience in system integration, test/evaluation, operations and maintenance, logistics, training, deployment support, and leased UAS services.
  • PrecisionHawk (Booth 1026) is a leading provider of drone technology for the enterprise. PrecisionHawk’s client list includes Fortune 500 companies and market leaders in 150 countries, spanning a range of industries, including agriculture, energy, insurance, government and construction. To date, PrecisionHawk has raised more than $100 million from leading venture capital firms including Third Point Ventures and Millennium Technology Value Partners, with strategic investments from enterprise customers and partners including Comcast Ventures, DuPont, Intel Capital, NTT Docomo, and Yamaha Motor.
  • Robotic Research, LLC (Booth 218, 407) plays key roles in major Department of Defense unmanned ground system programs. Robotic Research team members designed and developed the autonomous mobility software for most autonomous ground robotic systems currently in use by the U. S. Army.
  • UAV Engines LTD (Booth 935) was formed in 1992 specifically to exploit and develop Wankel engine technology for use in UAVs. We currently have many thousands of engines in over 30 types of aircraft in service worldwide, with well over 1,000,000 flight hours. We have full dyno and propellor test cells and full ISO accreditation, audited by Lloyds Register
Northrop Grummans Firebird Capability Showcased at XPONENTIAL_1
Northrop Grumman’s FIREBIRD Optionally-Piloted Aircraft