Robert Klenke Ph. D.

Robert H. Klenke Ph.D. Electrical Engineering – University of Virginia

Chief Technical Officer

A licensed commercial pilot, Bob graduated from Virginia Military Institute and started his career with the United States Navy Civil Engineer Corps. He attended University of Virginia where he received his Ph.D in Electrical Engineering and currently presides as a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He brings a wealth of technical subject matter knowledge on UAV systems as well as a plethora of UAV operational experience. Bob started flying small unmanned aircraft in the 1970’s and is actively involved in the Academy of Model Aeronautics to this day as a contest director flying all types of aircraft including helicopters. He is the president of the “Jet Pilot’s Organization” and acts as an instructor certifying pilots for their turbine waiver. A master builder himself, Bob has also been approved by the AMA as an inspector for “Large Model Aircraft” allowing AMA members to fly aircraft that exceed the normal 55lbs. once they have passed a rigorous inspection procedure.  He has built numerous small unmanned aircraft for several government agencies. Dr. Klenke and his students have been developing flight control computers (autopilots) for small unmanned aerial vehicles since 2002. He has facilitated and been the project lead for several Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) sponsored events where he and his team placed first in the competition using a system of their own design against groups using commercial autopilots costing in excess of $10,ooo.  Bob has participated in UAV related work with both government and industry corporations such as:

  • NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton VA collaborating on the Generic Transport Model Project.
  • Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen MD and the Small Collaborative UAV Project.
  • NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton VA collaborating on the Aerodynamics/Controls Research Project developing flight control systems for UAV.
  • U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command consulting on the Tactical Performance Evaluation of Standard Common Data Link Transceivers.
  • NextGen Aeronautics, Danville VA Cognitive UAV Project investigating methods required to dock two airborne UAVs in a wingtip-to-wingtip configuration.
  • Barron Associates, Charlottesville VA and the Glide Away Precision Sonobouy project developing a proof-of-concept bolt on “glide kit” for Navy Sonobouys dropped from high altitude.