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As we reach the end of 2023, Vigilant Aerospace is taking a moment to reflect on what has been a historic period for the autonomous systems industry and a momentous year for the company.

After waiting several years for signs that the UAS and AAM industry were reaching maturity and ready to expand, we have seen an explosion of growth and progress this year. From regulatory changes to the launch of new, impactful programs, there have been major milestones all across the industry, and Vigilant has been extremely fortunate to find itself at the forefront of change and innovation.

Our theme for the year was “There’s no autonomy without autonomous safety.”

Too often, we have observed new products, vehicles and programs launch touting their “autonomy” but not including effective, tested, standards-compliant autonomous safety systems. While the industry has continued to mature and grow, the lack of serious autonomous safety systems remains a major problem. But there are signs that this is finally changing.

2023 was the year that influential end-users, like the US Air Force and the US Army, recognized the problem and have tapped the industry vanguard, including Vigilant Aerospace, to fill the gap.

2023 was an epic, milestone year for the company with numerous major projects and contracts awarded. But 2024 is shaping up to be a monster year with numerous field tests, demo flights, integration programs and deployments on the horizon.

As we reach the end of 2023, I could not be prouder of what the Vigilant team has accomplished in the midst of this whirlwind. We have stayed focused and driven to deliver product innovation, day after day, and to ignore the hype.

Real aviation safety isn’t a tag line in a pitch deck or a marketing blurb. It is years of demanding lab work and gritty field work leading to systems that really function when they are needed most.

Here are just a few of the company’s notable accomplishments and events from 2023:

A big thank you to our partners and customers at Echodyne, Botlink, DeTect, Pierce Aerospace, ResilienX, MAAP, ACUASI, NPUASTS, AFWERX, AFRL, NASA, FAA UAS Integration Office, OSU’s OAIRE, TIL, ODAA, NDIA, ODIA, the Droneport Network, the SBA’s UAS Cluster Initiative, and too many others to list.

Stay tuned! There will be many updates in 2024, including major product and project announcements! Happy New Year to you and yours and we hope you have a safe and successful start to 2024!

– Kraettli L. Epperson, CEO, Vigilant Aerospace Systems, Inc.

About Vigilant Aerospace Systems

Vigilant Aerospace is the leading developer of detect-and-avoid and airspace management software for uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS or drones). The company’s product, FlightHorizon, is based on two NASA patents and uses data from multiple sources to display a real-time picture of the air traffic around a UAS and to provide automatic avoidance maneuvers to prevent collisions. The software is designed to meet industry technical standards, to provide automatic safety and to allow UAS to safely fly beyond the sight of the pilot. The software has won multiple industry awards and the company has had contracts and users at NASA, the FAA, the U.S. Department of Defense and with a variety of drone development programs. Visit our website at

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