Jonathan “Jon” Rogers is the Lockheed Martin Associate Professor of Avionics Integration in the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering and director of the Aerial Robotics and Experimental Autonomy Lab (AREAL) where his group conducts research in applied dynamics, controls, robotics, and autonomy. One of Rogers’ current research projects is focused on using multiple drones operating collaboratively to transport payloads.
“The fundamental idea is that when transporting heavy packages, instead of using one large drone, we can use multiple smaller drones that simultaneously connect to the single package, lift the package, and fly the package together,” he explains.
Another area of Rogers’ research is to develop automated autorotation procedures for helicopters. “Pilots use autorotation maneuvers to safely land helicopters in the event of an engine failure, but these maneuvers may become difficult for pilots at night or in degraded visual conditions when outside visual references are obscured,” Rogers advises. “The problem of landing aircraft safely under emergency conditions becomes even more complex when we start thinking about aircraft designs for urban air mobility, which may lack the ability to autorotate.”
Rogers’ vision of the future of UAM is motivated by the fact that the dominant aircraft designs have not yet been decided. “There are so many novel designs for urban and regional air mobility aircraft; we as a research community could benefit from reconfigurable, high-fidelity modeling and simulation tools to better understand aircraft performance and handling qualities under a wide range of conditions before we build out large-scale prototypes.”
For more information on Rogers’ research related to UAM, visit: