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Purdue-led Center on AI for Digital, Autonomous and Augmented Aviation


The Purdue-led Center on AI for Digital, Autonomous, and Augmented Aviation launches with the unveiling of the Windracers ULTRA, a fixed-wing, long-range aircraft. Testing the AIDA3 aircraft will help the center make autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles safer, more efficient, and scalable.

Windracers will test two fixed-wing, long-range ULTRA model UAVs in West Lafayette this spring to support AIDA3 R&D. The 20-by-30-foot ULTRA can take off, fly, and land safely without a remote pilot at 85 mph. The affordable, durable, and capable platform can carry over 200 pounds of cargo up to 620 miles for mail and parcel delivery, humanitarian aid, defense, and environmental protection.

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Unique to AIDA3 is its approach. Brunswicker, a Purdue professor of digital innovation and communication, said current AI/ML models are not dependable enough to finish the data-to-action loop in the real world safely, trustworthy, and scalable. From demand analytics and maintenance in commercial logistics to meteorological sensing and real-time weather prediction, AIDA3 will explore AI and ML models for autonomous mobility applications.

America intersects in Indiana. Purdue is leading efforts to make Indiana America’s smart crossroads. Nearly 1 million commercial uncrewed aircraft systems will fly across the US by 2027, doing more than carrying packages. Emergency services, defense, humanitarian aid, health care, and wildfire suppression will benefit from these drones. Purdue is building a pioneering center to use AI and ML to make transportation systems safe, efficient, and scalable to meet this demand. The Center on AI for Digital, Autonomous, and Augmented Aviation (AIDA3) aims to develop innovations for UAVs and autonomous systems, emphasizing on scalable advancements as demand develops.


  1. Enhanced Safety: Testing of the Windracers ULTRA and AIDA3 aircraft improves the safety of autonomous UAVs.
  2. Increased Efficiency: AIDA3’s exploration of AI and ML models enhances efficiency in various applications, from logistics to weather prediction.
  3. Scalability: Purdue’s pioneering center focuses on scalable advancements, meeting the growing demand for autonomous systems.
  4. Versatile Applications: UAV advancements benefit multiple sectors including defense, healthcare, and environmental protection, fostering societal benefits.

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