MRC Seminar: Drones 101: UMD's UAS Research and Operations Center (UROC)

Friday, September 29, 2023
2:00 p.m.
JMP 2116

Drones 101: UMD's UAS Research and Operations Center (UROC)

Streaming Link

John Slaughter
UAS Research and Operations Center
University of Maryland


The seminar will discuss the nature of Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) to include what they are, what they are used for, and why they aren't used as widely as long standing expectations for them might suggest they should be. It will touch on what is being done to broaden their use in the United States and elsewhere. It will then focus on UMD's UROC and what it does and can do for faculty and students in research and educational roles; for public and private entities developing and employing UAS in unique roles; and as a contributor to expanding the use of UAS in the National Airspace System of the United States. It will conclude with a discussion of the ongoing internship program UROC conducts each summer at its facility in Southern Maryland.


Captain John Slaughter, United States Navy, Retired. Mr. Slaughter received his bachelor’s degree in 1983 and was immediately commissioned into the U.S.Navy from the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps at the University of California, Berkeley. Following flight school, he served in a number of positions at sea and ashore flying several models of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, accumulating over 4000 flight hours while also earning a master’s degree from the University of Denver. His tours included command of an operational helicopter squadron at sea and a test squadron ashore responsible for evaluating numerous types of manned and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Additionally, he served in Naval Aviation acquisition roles to include leading procurement of the MH-60S helicopter and as Military Director of the Systems Engineering Department of the Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division. Following retirement from the Navy in 2012 he joined a small business focused on support to Naval Aviation, working directly for Navy customers and leading company business development activities that took it from 90 to over 300 employees and from $15M to over $50M in annual revenues during his tenure. During this time, he led a small division providing UAS services in the commercial arena to customers across the U.S. In August 2022, he retired from the business world and joined the University of Maryland as Director of the UAS Research and Operations Center located at the St. Mary’s County airport in Southern Maryland.

Host: Ryan Sochol

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