The UMD UAS Test Site leverages the capabilities of the people and infrastructure in Southern Maryland and the University System of Maryland for technical and policy issues associated with UAS. UAS work by the University, the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and industries throughout Maryland is supported by federal, state and local governments, as well as industry and other sectors.
The Test Site Brings Together:
- Intellectual expertise and experts, many of whom have been conducting collaborative UAS research for decades
- Airspace, both segregated and non-segregated, to fly UAS
- Research and development infrastructure, both existing and planned expansions, to support UAS development
- Education opportunities, ranging from K-12 through the world-recognized and ranked capabilities of the University of Maryland, to prepare the workforce of tomorrow
The existing relationships between the University and NAVAIR are a cornerstone of our capability, in addition to growing partnerships with industry, academia and government agencies. We stand ready to assist the FAA with integrating UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS).
Meet the Test Site Team
As our desire to enable Fearless Flight of UAS by ensuring safety and reliability is perfectly in step with the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s desire to promote Fearless Engineering, so are our team members an elegantly balanced blend of technical, political, and communication expertise. Representing each of the three Southern Maryland counties, our team has extensive background in military and civil aviation.
Matt Scassero, Director, UMD UAS Test Site
Matt Scassero is the Director of the University of Maryland Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Site, focusing the resources and efforts of the state of Maryland on working with the FAA to integrate UAS into the national airspace, and enabling public access to these valuable assets to empower a flourishing civil and commercial UAS industry... [read more]
His focus is to lead the university’s efforts to be a premier force in advancing UAS safely, efficiently, and effectively while delivering products and programs in support of workforce development and higher education goals. Prior to his work with UAS, Matt was the Chief Contracts Officer for Melwood, a non-profit dedicated to empowering people with differing disabilities to enrich their own lives through rehabilitative services and employment opportunities. Prior to joining Melwood, Matt completed a 27 year career in the US Navy, retiring at the rank of Captain as the Vice Commander for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, the Navy’s principal research, development, test, evaluation, engineering and fleet support activity for naval aircraft and systems. He is certified by the federal government in program management, test and evaluation, software acquisition, safety program management, and electronic warfare operations. Matt earned a BS in Physics (Oceanography) from the United States Naval Academy in 1982, and is a Leadership Maryland 2007 graduate. He is blessed with his family to live in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, enjoying the rural lifestyle and outdoor pursuits.
Tony Pucciarella, Director of Operations
Tony Pucciarella serves as the Director of Operations for the UMD UAS Test Site, responsible for the airworthiness evaluation of systems and the safe conduct of all test flight operations. He is an industry recognized expert in airworthiness, airspace integration, and operations for both manned and unmanned operations... [read more]
Tony is a retired US Navy Commander, naval aviator, and Airline Transport Pilot with over 5,000 flight hours in aircraft ranging from the iconic B-25 to the state-of-the-art Gulfstream V. He served multiple tours as a Navy Flag Pilot responsible for flying senior Navy and USMC leaders, white house staff, and foreign dignitaries. His last assignment in uniform was as the Lead Pilot and Fleet Integration Team Director on the delivery of the Navy’s C-37A program. As a contractor, Tony led the certification effort for airspace integration on the Navy’s Triton UAS program. In this role, he served as a subject matter expert on Sense and Avoid (SAA) methodologies and drafted the Navy’s first SAA certification instruction. Tony holds a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the Ohio State University and an MBA from Loyola University and remains active in the engineering community. In his free time, Tony enjoys being home in Calvert County, MD, spending time with his family and building and flying multi-rotor UAS.