3D-Printed Antenna Demonstrated on E400 Drone

Earlier this year, Event 38 Unmanned Systems successfully flew a drone fitted with a 3D-printed antenna at Kent State University. The project, backed by the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN), was a collaboration between Event 38, Kent State University, Youngstown State University, and Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI), who led the project.

Event 38 consulted with YBI to explore the possibility of creating a 3D-printed antenna to replace the nose cone on the E400, an Event 38 mapping drone.

“3D printing is an exciting option for creating geometrically complex components, such as antennas,” said Jeff Taylor, CEO of Event 38. “Traditional manufacturing methods, such as machining, aren’t optimal for unusual shapes, which can require a lot of tooling and produce significant waste material. 3D printing is much more efficient for certain geometries.”

YBI experimented with different 3D-printed antenna designs to find one that matched the dimensional needs of the E400 and achieved the right frequency and distribution pattern.

The 3D-printed antenna created by YBI was fully integrated on the E400 and flown at an OFRN project demonstration at Kent State University.

“Geometrically complex 3D-printed antennas are very promising technology,” said Taylor. “In partnership with YBI, we proved the feasibility of a dual-purpose nose cone that served as both antenna and aerodynamic structure. But there’s potential to create structural parts, too. We could print a loadbearing piece that also serves as an antenna and thus replace a structural element, which reduces the overall weight of the aircraft.”

There are several applications in which full integration of the antenna into the existing shape of the aircraft is beneficial. In virtually any context, an integrated antenna is safer from bumps and damage than a whip antenna that protrudes from the plane. In the context of a hypersonic aircraft, a protruding antenna requires extra heat shielding, whereas an antenna that integrates with the shape of the fuselage could withstand both heat and hypersonic airflow without compromising performance.

Light weighting can also contribute meaningfully to overall performance of an unmanned aircraft. A lighter drone can fly longer and handle a heavier payload on the same amount of power.

Taylor is optimistic about the future of 3D-printed antenna and other sensors. “There may be long-term benefits we haven’t even realized yet. It could change the way we design and build drones in the future.”

To learn more about Event 38 or the E400, visit www.event38.com.

E400 Displayed at Air National Guard (ANG) Domestic Capability Priorities Conference

Event 38 Unmanned Systems Inc., was recently invited to attend the Air National Guard Domestic Capability Priorities Conference in Denver, Colorado. This annual event allows the Air National Guard (ANG) to review their acquisition priorities for the coming year.

Event 38 featured the E400 VTOL after completing a successful demonstration for the Air National Guard 178th Wing Fire and Emergency Services in late 2020. The E400’s VTOL capability is ideal for a variety of emergency response scenarios including search and rescue, swift water rescue, and fire response among others. 

Learn More About the E400 Here.

Event 38 Adds Sony a6100 Support to Companion Computer for E400

Event 38’s most recent product, the E400, is designed to carry DSLR payloads in landscape orientation, a more efficient orientation for mapping. For this reason, Event 38 partnered with Sony to use the a6100, a lightweight, high resolution camera with a large APS-C sized sensor, which is crucial to produce clear, more accurate photogrammetric models.

Additionally, the Sony a6100 is now supported by Companion Computer, which is an Event 38-created device that allows a camera to talk directly to the autopilot in real-time. Companion Computer provides up-to-date information on the camera’s status, pictures it’s taking, current GPS coordinates, and pitch, roll, and yaw data from the autopilot AHRS.

Having the ability to have information like photos in real-time makes the postprocessing workflow not only more efficient, but allows the operator to check that the images are being photographed as desired, meaning good exposure and overlap, and the target area is captured.

E400 specs and pricing can be found here.

3D Printed Antenna Project Progresses to Integration

Event 38 is currently working on a project supported by OFRN to 3D print antennas for sUAS (small unmanned aircraft system). The intent is to use additive manufacturing research to produce geometrically complex antennas with unique structural and aerodynamic properties. In this instance, the 3D model replaces the aircraft nose cone to function as both an antenna and an aerodynamic structure.

The part is made with a combination of metal and polymer 3D printing to achieve the antenna. Currently, Event 38 is integrating the antenna onto its E400 aircraft and plan to perform flight demonstration and functional evaluation this summer.

Event 38 Unmanned Systems Completes Delivery of E400 To Air National Guard

Event 38 Unmanned Systems recently completed delivery of the E400 to the Air National Guard (ANG) 178th Wing Fire and Emergency Management teams. The E400 was identified by the Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO) as a promising commercial technology that could reduce cost and increase readiness for multiple Air Force sustainment objectives. The aircraft was customized for ANG, adding VTOL as well as a live-streaming thermal and RGB video payload. Additionally, Event 38 designed a custom all-in-one handheld ground control station. The aircraft is intended for use by emergency response personnel.

Event 38 provided in-person training, documentation, and the user manual. Four operators were trained to proficiency in 1.5 days of class time and practice flights.

The smaller team allowed Event 38 to provide a more hands-on approach to training, giving each member the opportunity to disassemble and reassemble the aircraft and act as pilot in command. 

The operators found the training to be beneficial and efficient. This group had limited experience with UAS, but found it was easy to set up and control. Learn more about the E400 VTOL here.

Event 38 Develops UAS For Wildfires

Event 38 Unmanned Systems recently completed a project with a UAS service provider to develop and field an aircraft for wildfire response. The aircraft carries an EO/IR gimbal tied in to a geotagging system that provides real time fire location data to firefighters. It is currently flying missions on behalf of the Department of the Interior.

While this company had previously worked with UAS for ISR and mapping, none of their aircraft were suited for wildfire response. The work calls for long endurance flights at high density altitude within a TFR, and usually without space available for traditional launch and recovery equipment. The drone engineered in collaboration with Event 38 features electric vertical takeoff and landing and a gasoline engine for forward thrust. These are crucial for flying in mountainous regions and over forests, allowing for long flights and requiring minimal space for takeoff and landing.

Event 38 integrated the avionics, including the autopilot, and developed custom flight software and ground control station functions. The team was also responsible for flight-testing the drone from first flight to final testing with DOI.

With up to 9 hours endurance, a ceiling above 12,000’ MSL and an all-up weight over 65 pounds, this project demonstrates Event 38’s ability to develop and deploy high performance UAS for flight in mixed manned/unmanned airspace.

Event 38 Unmanned Systems to Build Heavy Lift eVTOL

Event 38 Unmanned Systems has been commissioned by a university research team to build a heavy lift electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) for a highly specialized physics payload. The partnership will allow the university to perform a cutting-edge research project and allow Event 38 to expand its portfolio of uniquely capable unmanned aircraft.

The team at Event 38 is responsible for building the eVTOL to lift a 150-pound payload and hold it almost completely motionless for data collection purposes. The aircraft will be impressive in size – 11’ x 11’ and 600lbs all up weight with a flight time of 30 minutes.

Event 38 was selected for this opportunity due to their deep understanding of aerodynamics, electronics, and flight software using Ardupilot and PX4 flight controllers. Possessing these capabilities makes the team uniquely qualified to take on such a challenging aircraft build.

“The work we do at Event 38 lends itself perfectly to this research because the size and sensitivity of the payload require careful design consideration,” said Event 38 Founder and President, Jeff Taylor. “It’s a more economical solution and poses less risk to personnel compared with using a manned helicopter.”

Event 38 believes this technology has many applications including disaster response, personnel recovery and industrial logistics. The first flight is currently scheduled for Q4, 2020 with additional development to follow.

Event 38 and Ghostwave Awarded Sense and Avoid Research Funding

Funding through OFRN for developing radar systems for drones

Akron, Ohio – June 3, 2019 – Event 38 is excited to announce that we are a member of a team that was recently awarded research and development (R&D) funding to develop a sense and avoid system for unmanned aircraft. The Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN) awarded $6.3 million to just four of thirty three teams who submitted proposals.

Funding for this project was awarded under OFRN’s Sustaining Ohio’s Aeronautical Readiness and Innovation in the Next Generation (SOARING) initiative. This initiative is designed to help Ohio push ahead and expand in defense and commercial aerospace research, development, and sustainment. The four awarded project teams are comprised of collaborators from all across the state of Ohio.

Event 38 is proud to join Ghostwave, Inc in the integration of its anti-jam radar technology into a sense and avoid system. Other team members include researchers from Ohio University, The Ohio State University, and Lockheed Martin Advanced Technologies Lab.

The project is titled “UAV Detect-and-Avoid Sensor Fusion”. Right now, UAS operators in the US typically operate beyond line of sight only by closely controlling large sections of airspace to avoid collisions. In order to safely fly in unmanaged airspace, UAS must be able to detect manned aircraft with varying levels of electronic communication capability. Optical sensors alone may be insufficient to detect and avoid other aircraft in degraded visual environments (DVE). The objective of this project is to demonstrate radar-optical sensor fusion to enhance optical sensing in clear environments and in DVEs such as darkness, dust, fog or smoke.

The future is unmanned, and an unmanned craft moving in congested areas must avoid all other air traffic and confirm landing sites are clear. Event 38 is thrilled to be part of this ground breaking project.

Event 38 Unmanned Systems operates out of Akron, Ohio, and has customers all over the world. Event 38 designs and manufactures long range drones, onboard data processing solutions, and other equipment for unmanned aerial systems.


If you would like to learn more about Event 38 or this project specifically, please contact us via phone at (234) 206-0410 or email us at

Event 38 Flies Under AFRL COA at Ohio UAS Test Center

Event 38 recently completed flight demonstrations of a custom-built aircraft that is a major milestone in a multi-year research project into structural energy storage led by Dr. Vikas Prakash at Case Western Reserve University. Event 38 founder, Jeff Taylor, had previously studied aerospace engineering under Dr. Prakash in 2008 and said, “I’m proud that Event 38 has reached a level where we can collaborate on cutting edge research projects, and working with my former professor makes it all the more exciting for me.”

For the demonstration, Event 38 built a custom version of its latest E400 composite aircraft, with battery cells molded directly into the structure of the wings. This technique saves weight and allows the aircraft to store more energy for flight without reducing the payload volume or increasing the size of the aircraft’s structure. Event 38 uses composite construction techniques to conform the aircraft fuselage and wings to the custom shape dictated by the payload or mission profile. The E400 used in this demonstration was also outfitted with a Ping2020 ADS-B transceiver to help improve situational awareness of manned aircraft flying nearby.

As part of the demonstration, Event 38 coordinated with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and the Ohio UAS Test Center to fly on the grounds of Springfield Beckley Airport immediately adjacent to active runways. Event 38’s E400 passed a combined technical and safety review board administered by AFRL in order to fly under their Certificate of Authorization (COA) for flight test activities. Event 38 implemented multiple fail-safe procedures to ensure that the E400 could not, under any circumstances, exit the boundaries of the COA or interfere with manned traffic.

A series of systems, procedures, and technologies were used to ensure safety of manned traffic operating near the Springfield airport. The Ohio UAS Test Center and AFRL have collaborated to build a one-of-a-kind Ground Based Detect and Avoid (GBDAA) system centered around Springfield. The system uses combined radar returns from nearby airports to provide comprehensive radar coverage of a 225 square-mile area. The fused radar data is routed to a mobile operations center, where it can be accessed and read by test center personnel and operators. The system is set up to enable BLOS flights throughout the 225 square-mile area, where test center personnel can manage mixed manned and unmanned operations.

Before flying, AFRL issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) for nearby traffic to be aware of the unmanned operations. For the duration of the flights, Ohio UAS Test Center personnel operated radios to notify incoming and departing traffic of the nearby unmanned traffic. Dozens of takeoffs and landings took place while the E400 loitered at 600′ AGL just a couple hundred feet away from the runway, without causing any safety concerns.

The flight was monitored by an Event 38 pilot in command located inside the mobile ground station and a visual observer who maintained sight of the aircraft. The pilot inside monitored the ground control station, performed trend monitoring as part of the structural energy test procedures, and liaised with the Ohio UAS Test Center airspace manager operating the radar and radios.

The test compared an E400 fitted with structural energy to a standard Li-Ion battery configuration. The addition of structural energy elements allowed the E400 configuration to achieve 1.6x greater endurance than the standard configuration, which is volume-limited with certain payloads. This resulted in a three-hour flight, a duration practically unheard of for hand-launched, commercial UAS.

Event 38 customers benefit from the success of this demonstration in two ways.
First, Event 38 aircraft offer an even greater endurance advantage while fully equipped with the most capable mapping and surveillance sensors used on small UAS.  For collecting orthophotography, LiDAR point clouds, or monitoring critical infrastructure, the E400 leads its class in terms of endurance and versatility. Second, customers benefit directly from the experience the Event 38 team has gained in documentation and procedures used to receive approval to fly under the AFRL COA on an active airport. We can advise customers on achieving regulatory compliance through implementation of risk mitigating technology and procedures.

Partnering with uAvionix to add ADS-B Integration

Event 38 Unmanned Systems Partners with uAvionix to Improve Airspace Safety for Manned and Unmanned Aircraft

Akron, Ohio—March 6, 2019—Event 38 Unmanned Systems announced today that it has entered into a collaborative agreement with uAvionix to resell and integrate uAvionix ADS-B products with Event 38 aircraft.

Unmanned aerial systems and manned aircraft equipped with uAvionix ADS-B transceivers can track each other electronically while in flight. ADS-B transceivers like the Ping2020, which is small enough for Event 38 drones, receive and transmit information about air traffic such as location, altitude, and speed. The Ping series can detect ADS-B messages from aircraft up to 100 miles away.

When a uAvionix ADS-B transceiver is integrated with an Event 38 aircraft, operators can see the locations of manned air traffic overlaid directly on their ground station display. This capability improves both operator and pilot situational awareness, so operations near manned aircraft can be performed with an added level of safety. This risk mitigation tool may also increase the chance of being approved for Part 107 waivers such as high altitude and BLOS operations, depending on the location and airspace of the operation.

With this added ADS-B capability, Event 38 aircraft continue to lead the industry in long range mapping aircraft for EVLOS and BLOS operations. “Our prediction is that the FAA will require ADS-B as part of its eventual integration of unmanned aircraft into the NAS,” says Jeff Taylor, President, Event 38. “By partnering with uAvionix to offer this capability, we hope to make it easier for our customers to obtain Part 107 waivers now and to build flight heritage for future changes in regulation.”

Event 38 will carry all of uAvionix’s products for unmanned aircraft, including Ping2020, Ping1090, Ping200S(r) Transponders, and PingUSB. These products will be available on all Event 38 long endurance aircraft starting with the E384-Heavy and E400.

To learn more, get in touch with Jeff Taylor at jeff@event38.com or visit www.event38.com.

About Event 38 Unmanned Systems

Founded in 2011, Event 38 Unmanned Systems operates out of Akron, Ohio, and has customers all over the world. Event 38 designs and manufactures long range drones, onboard data processing solutions, and other equipment for unmanned aerial systems.