April 18, 2023

April 18, 2023

University of Alaska, Gov. Mike Dunleavy Announce Inaugural Global Autonomous Systems Conference 

Expert gathering to highlight Alaska’s drone excellence, identify coming global challenges, opportunities

ANCHORAGE — The University of Alaska and Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced today that the University and State of Alaska will host the inaugural Global Autonomous Systems Conference (GASC) in Anchorage on Aug. 9-11, 2023. GASC is a three-day gathering that will include presentations from worldwide experts, conversations among policy and industry leaders, and opportunities to connect with visionaries in autonomous systems. The convening is sponsored by the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. ACUASI is one of the nation’s top drone research programs.

“Whether it is using an Artificial Intelligence camera payload installed on a drone to spot whales, or underwater gliders to conduct physical oceanography research, Alaskan researchers are leading the way towards using autonomy to solve real-world problems,” said ACUASI director Dr. Cathy Cahill.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Trailblazing Autonomous Paths for a New World Economy” and will include sessions on research and advanced air mobility, or AAM. AAM integrates new aircraft and innovative technologies to move people and goods between nearby locations, and connect communities that do not have access to adequate transportation. AAM promises to be safe, fast, affordable, and eco-friendly, allowing people to reach their destinations quickly and efficiently. Invited experts and leaders in the fields of security, AI, emergency management, oceanography, fisheries, and more will also highlight the opportunities and challenges on the horizon for unmanned aerial systems in the economy and beyond. 

“Alaska is at the intersection of investment, innovation, and practical application of unmanned aircraft technology due to its location at the crossroads for worldwide transportation and logistics,” UA President Pat Pitney said. “The 49th state has consistently led the way in aviation technological advancement, and ACUASI’s status as a leader in drone research and testing, across the U.S. is a continuation of that legacy.”

“From logistics to unmanned aircraft, from critical minerals to low and no carbon energy, and much more, Alaska is a resource powerhouse in a strategic position on the globe that has much more to offer than just our beautiful scenery and wildlife,” Governor Dunleavy said.

The Global Autonomous Systems Conference will be held Aug. 9-11, 2023 at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska. For more details or to register for the conference, visit autonomousalaska.com

The University of Alaska is a land-, sea- and space-grant system of higher education established in 1917. The UA System's three universities (UAA, UAF, and UAS) are separately accredited institutions with campuses and extended learning centers across the state of Alaska. The University of Alaska is overseen by the Board of Regents, an 11-member volunteer board established through the Alaska Constitution, and responsible for University of Alaska policy and management through the university president.

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For more information, contact:

  • Jonathon Taylor, Director of Public Affairs for the University of Alaska at jonathon.taylor@alaska.edu, or 907-350-0168 (cell), or

  • Shannon Mason, Deputy Press Secretary for the Office of the Governor at shannon.mason@alaska.gov, or 907-310-7697.