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Tuesday, March 24 • 3:25pm - 4:15pm
The Syria Airlift Project: Open-Sourcing Humanitarian Airlift - Mark Jacobsen, U.S. Air Force

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More than 240,000 civilians have faced siege tactics in Syria's civil war, and 4.5 million are considered hard-to-reach. Conventional airdrops are impossible because large aircraft are vulnerable to ground fire. The Syria Airlift Project is a grassroots effort to develop an alternative paradigm: swarming airlift, using large numbers of small UAVs to deliver low-mass/high-value goods like medical supplies. Our vision is to employ Syrian refugees in Turkey to assemble and operate these aircraft, in an uplifting, nonviolent effort to care for the countrymen they've left behind. In this presentation I will discuss our work thus far, how we are using open-source 3DR hardware and software for our unique missions requirements, and how we are bringing the principles of crowdsourcing to humanitarian airlift. I will also discuss the many challenges of preparing to operate in a conflict zone.

avatar for Mark Jacobsen

Mark Jacobsen

Executive Director, Uplift Aeronautics
Mark Jacobsen is a C-17 Pilot and Arabic-speaking Middle East Specialist in the US Air Force. Although still on active duty, he is currently a full-time student in the Political Science PhD program at Stanford University. He has been a hobbyist programmer and builder since he was... Read More →

Tuesday March 24, 2015 3:25pm - 4:15pm PDT
Ballroom Salon 4

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