Professional or academic UAV options

I am new here. Been flying RC since before I can remember. I got a Ardupilot and am excited to start digging into the software.


Now that the intro is out of the way ;)


I will be graduating soon with a MS in Computer Science. I would love to get get into developing software for UAVs. Either for end users (pilots) or embedded flight control stuff and was hoping some of you could help point me in the right direction.

I know the big engineering schools like MIT, Stanford, CMU etc. all have ongoing research on UAVs. I also know big companies like Northrup Grumman and Boeing have UAV projects. But I probably am not going to get into a program like MIT or Stanford and don't really want to work for a company as big as Boeing.

So I am hoping some of you great folks might know of some smaller companies that work on UAVs or less competitive universities that are actively involved in UAV development. I would be happy to work in industry or go the research route. I will be applying to AeroVironment and maybe Insitu but thats all I have on my list at the moment.

Any help would be appreciated. I am sure Ill be asking more relevant questions when I get my air frame here and start flying.

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  • If you want to work on autopilots and aircraft controls check out Cloud Cap Technology ( Their Piccolo autopilot is excellent, is in use on many platforms, and they work extensively with universities and government research agencies. Look at the autopilots used in the Outback Challenge (UND won last year with Piccolo) and the work Arcturus UAV has done with the Idaho National Laboratory and the Naval Post Graduate Research School (, Insitu is a great company, but they no longer develop their autopilots in-house. The Integrator uses an Athena autopilot from Rockwell Collins, and they are no longer developing the ScanEagle except for some payload work (

  • Developer

    I found a list of companies in some report on UAVs .. here's a short list I extracted..sorry, forget where I found it!

    AAI Corporation (military)

    AeroVironment Inc

    Diehl BGT Defence GmbH & Co KG (germany)

    EMT Ingenieurgesellschaft (germany?)



    Kaman Corp

    Prioria, Inc

    Proxy Aviation Systems


    Schiebel Elektronische Geraete GmbH

    Sikorsky Aircraft Co

    Stark Aerospace

    Swift Engineering Inc

    Teledyne Technologies Inc


    VT Group

  • T3

    Did you get my PM?

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Dec 3, 2020