Unmanned Vehicle Systems





Montgomery County has the opportunity and the capability of becoming a national leader in the development, manufacturing, and creative use of autonomous vehicles.  In 2013, the FAA named Virginia Tech one of six official test sites for unmanned aircraft research.  Our community is home to the Virginia Center for Autonomous Systems, Virginia Smart Road and numerous UAVS related manufacturers and software companies.


Aeroprobe Corp.* (Christiansburg, VA) - Aeroprobe provides air data measurement systems to aerospace, automotive, turbomachinery, wind turbine, and wind tunnel testing industries around the world

AVID, LLC* (Blacksburg, VA) - An industry-leading aerospace engineering and software development firm, excels at multidisciplinary aircraft design and analyses

Harmonia* (Blacksburg, VA) - developed the LiquidApps® suite of development tools. LiquidApps® brings user interface design and development from the programmers to the subject matter expert who is best able to develop the software

Moog Components Group* (Blacksburg, VA) - Manufacturer of precision control components and systems. Moog’s high performance actuation products control military and commercial aircraft, satellites and space vehicles, launch vehicles, missiles, and automated industrial machinery

Techsburg* (Christiansburg, VA) - A provider of engineering services and precision manufacturing capabilities to the defense, aerospace, and gas turbine industries.

TORC Robotics* (Blacksburg, VA) - A leader in robotic autonomous vehicle solutions by providing Unmanned Vehicle Kits and proven modular Robotic Building Blocks

VPT, Inc. (Blacksburg, VA) - A global provider of power conversion solutions for the rapid development of critical power systems in avionics, military, and space applications

*Company headquartered locally


Research Centers

Virginia Center for Autonomous Systems - Since its establishment, Virginia Tech’s Virginia Center for Autonomous Systems (VaCAS) has advocated and supported a broad range of basic and applied interdisciplinary research activities focused on autonomous system technology. VaCAS now includes 14 core faculty members and nearly two dozen affiliate faculty members across the university. VaCAShosts research activities spanning every application domain (marine, land, and air) and member research activities range from fundamental cognition and perception theory, to vehicle development, to applications for science, security, and commerce.

Core labs of VaCAS include:

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute - Researchers with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) generate methods and technologies to address transportation challenges involving road vehicles, drivers, infrastructure, and policy. VTTI research has also directly influenced public policy concerning driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety. As driver assistive technologies continue to advance, transportation research will increasingly focus on the challenges of integrating self-driving cars into public traffic, paralleling current efforts to integrate UAS into the national airspace.

UAV related VTTI research facilities include:

Degree Completions, UVS Related Programs, 12-13
Bachelors Masters Ph.D.
Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering 127
16 10
Computer Engineering, General 62
28 14
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 107
66 38
Mechanical Engineering
Total 585 170 85
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Additional Information

View Report on the Future of Virginia (2014)


Contact the Economic Development Department

755 Roanoke St., Suite 2H
Christiansburg, VA.  24073

Phone Numbers:
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