Overview

Overview

Georgia Tech is a world-renowned institution for rotorcraft research and education. As one of the original Rotorcraft Centers of Excellence, the Rotorcraft Center program at Georgia Tech has been an outstanding model of collaboration between government, industry and academia. Georgia Tech was awarded the first Army Rotorcraft Center of Excellence (RCOE) in 1982 under the leadership of Prof. Robin Gray, making it the first Georgia Tech externally designated research center of excellence. Georgia Tech has been the only continuously funded RCOE for the past 35 years, and began the eighth multiyear funding phase (five years) in Fall 2016 with resources from the U.S. Army, NASA and U.S. Navy.

The VLRCOE has contributed to cutting edge research in a number of fundamental areas – aerodynamics, structures and structural dynamics, autonomous vehicle systems, and helicopter design. Over the course of its 35-year history, Georgia Tech’s VLRCOE has promoted research that has resulted in software algorithms and simulation models that are in regular use across the vertical lift community.

The center offers a well-rounded education program in vertical lift research and technology at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The students of the Center have won top standings (first or second place) in the American Helicopter Society (AHS) Design Competitions for the past 31 consecutive years. The center has graduated over 200 alumni who serve as leaders in the military, government, industry, and academia. During the period 2001-2011 alone, there were 87 Ph D graduates from the Center. The efforts from the Center have led to several successful spin-off laboratories/centers at Georgia Tech, as well as productive joint collaborations in a variety of government and industry programs. These include (a) the GTRI Advanced Transportation and Aerospace Systems Laboratory (ATAS); (b) the Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL); (c) the Center for Aerospace Systems Engineering (CASE); (d) the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Research Facility (UAVRF); and (e) the Integrated Product Lifecycle Engineering (IPLE) Laboratory. Joint collaborative programs with government and industry include the establishment of the International Aerial Robotics Competition, Army Autonomous Scout Rotorcraft Test bed (ASRT) Program, DARPA Software Enabled Control (SEC) Program for Intelligent UAV’s, NASA Carter Aviation Slowed Rotor/Compound (SR/C) STTR program, DARPA Helicopter Quieting Program (HQP), DARPA Heliplane Program, and the DARPA Mission Adaptive Rotor Program.