Welcome to the University of Denver (DU) Unmanned Systems Research Institute (DU2SRI).

Robots walking

The Institute was launched in November of 2012 to:

  • Serve as the focal point for basic, applied research and development activities in unmanned systems in general, and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in particular in the State of Colorado
  • Conduct, coordinate and promote research in building the next generation of UAS that will be used for a wide spectrum of civil/public domain applications
  • Educate students, scientists, engineers and practitioners who are interested in learning about Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs)
  • Serve as the organization to facilitate gradual integration of UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS) assisting third parties to obtain Certificates of Authorization (COA) from the Federal aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Participate in State-wide UAS research and development initiatives offering its know-how and expertise
  • Assist in economic development and creation of new jobs by graduating the next generation of highly skilled scientists and engineers, ready to compete in a very demanding global market
  • Serve as a demo site for unmanned vehicles
  • Provide the foundation for technology transfer to the private sector
  • Bridge the gap between military and civilian application domains

Circulation Control Wing for UAVs

Integrated Robotics Patent License Agreement Signed


New helicopters join DU2SRI fleet

DU2SRI received two brand new, Class I, Bergen Industrial Turbine unmanned helicopters, which will be equipped with an in-house built sense-and-avoid radar-based system and a new generation sensor suite and autonomous navigation system.


The specifications of these helicopters are:

  • Length: 59” (1.5 m)
  • Height: 22″  (0.55 m)
  • Weight: 18 lb. (8.2 kg)
  • Main Blade Size: 850 mm
  • Tail Blade Size: 130 mm
  • Engine: Jetcat SPH5 Heli
  • Payload: 25 lb.(11.3 kg)
  • Flight time: 30 min.


After this (first) addition of turbine (kerosene) helicopters, DU2SRI hosts a diverse fleet of unmanned helicopters (electric, gas, kerosene), able to be used in a wide variety of applications.

DU2SRI New off-Campus facility, 3500 Windsor Dr #500 Aurora, CO 80011

DU2SRI acquired a new off-campus facility at the Strategic Simulation Solutions, to be used as a hosting facility for our equipment, work space for research development and experimentation, and site for demonstrations and events. All the fleet\equipment has been moved to the hangar and DU2SRI is in the process of setting up several workstations inside the hangar along with a small machine shop to support the research needs of the Institute.



Colorado to bid for UAS test-site designation

On February 14, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a state application process for attaining six test-site designations that will be allocated for flying commercial UAVs over U.S. airspace. The Denver Post covers Colorado’s application and Dr. Kimon Valavanis talks on the evolution of UAVs and the role of DU2SRI.

Universtity of Denver developing unmanned aerial vehicle technology, UAV

Exchange student Alessandro Benini of Italy uses a Quadcopter to demonstrate his work in vision-aided autonomous landing for unmanned aerial vehicles at the University of Denver. (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post)