UAS@UCLA · NASA Student Aviation Research

Project Description

We’re developing the Autonomous Vehicle Infinite Air Time Apparatus, or AVIATA: a system that will be capable of carrying objects in the air indefinitely. To do this, we plan to use a drone swarm to hold a central frame supporting the payload, allowing us to swap individual drones in and out whenever they run low. With this design, AVIATA will have the reliability and versatility to assist in emergency relief, environmental monitoring, and supply transportation.

50436344_1597700128897681_r.jpegOur proposal has already been accepted by the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate as part of their University Student Research Challenge (USRC), and we have been awarded some initial funding. However, we still need your help! We need to raise $2,000 in order to access the remainder of NASA's commitment, which will help us acquire the materials necessary to bring AVIATA to life.

Who are we?

50436344_1597700598283086_r.jpegWe are a student organization named UAS@UCLA — Unmanned Aerial Systems at UCLA — and have for the last 5 years competed in the international AUVSI SUAS search-and-rescue competition in Maryland, designing and building our own drone. This year, we decided to try something new — developing a proposal for NASA’s USRC — and we are proud that our idea, AVIATA, has been selected.

What Your Donation Will Do

This research project is a product of our passion for UAV systems, so all funding goes directly to purchasing the materials necessary to bring it to life. This supplements a portion of the funds provided by NASA, and enables us to receive the remainder of our awarded grant. To keep it reasonable, we have decided to build a small-scale version of AVIATA, including designing the frame, docking mechanism, and associated software, which could then easily be scaled up by simply increasing the size of the frame and maximum thrust of each drone.


In order to get you as excited about this project as we are, we’re offering rewards for donations! Every donation counts — it all goes straight into designing and building a better system.

Amount    Perk Received
Any              Your name on our website!
$25              UAS@UCLA Stickers
$50              UAS@UCLA Remove Before Flight tag
$100           Personal video from our team!
$200           Name a drone!
$400           Invitation to live demo and lab tour!

Note: Each tier includes all the rewards from preceding tiers!

Example Sticker:


Your donation is a crucial step towards advancing aviation technology. Our reliance on autonomous vehicles is ever-increasing, and we must proactively work to ensure their safety and reliability on all missions. It is our goal that by demonstrating AVIATA, we will be able to show the potential that collaborative drones have for everyone, from transportation to communications to helping first responders.

50436344_1597701174678947_r.jpegWe are motivated by our project’s potential impact: AVIATA is the first of its kind, achieving endless flight time with a compact system that can be quickly manufactured and delivered. Aviation technology is progressing rapidly, and it is our hope that AVIATA will help influence and define the next breakthroughs in autonomous flight.


This material is based upon a proposal tentatively selected by NASA for a grant award of $10,811, subject to successful crowdfunding. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASA.
  • Sean Cooke 
    • $200 
    • 9 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $37 
    • 14 mos
  • Judith Marks 
    • $100 
    • 14 mos
  • Jennifer Marks 
    • $75 
    • 14 mos
  • Rhoda Nemiroff 
    • $100 
    • 14 mos
See all

Fundraising team: UAS@UCLA (11)

Andy Peng 
Raised $50 from 1 donation
Los Angeles, CA
David Thorne 
Yuchen Yao 
Team member
Raised $969 from 4 donations
Ryan Nemiroff 
Team member
Raised $685 from 7 donations
Bhrugu Mallajosyula 
Team member
Raised $50 from 1 donation
Willy Teav 
Team member
Raised $50 from 1 donation
See all
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more