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Vigilant Aerospace Systems and the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center Technology Transfer team have been chosen to present at the 2017 R&D 100 Conference in Orlando, Florida November 16-17th.

The R&D 100 Conference was launched in 2015 as an educational event that celebrates the historic R&D 100 Awards. The conference sessions address a variety of important new technological developments and provide unique opportunities for research and development (R&D) professionals to learn, network, and collaborate. Keynote speakers and breakout dialogues provide R&D trends, case studies, and more as the conference creates collaborative spaces for sharing ideas and networking with industry peers.

The joint presentation titled “Commercializing Federal R&D: Secrets to Startup Success” will be featured as part of the Emerging R&D Capabilities in Robotics & Autonomous Systems conference track.

Presentation details:

Commercializing Federal R&D: Secrets to Startup Success

Track – 2017 R&D 100 Conference Emerging R&D: Capabilities in Robotics & Autonomous Systems


Thursday, November 16, 2017
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM


Kraettli L. Epperson, CEO, Vigilant Aerospace Systems
Janeya Griffin, Licensing Manager & Technology Transfer Specialist, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center


Brief Presentation Description:
This NASA startup case study presents key information to help other companies and investors effectively pursue the “productization” of government technology. The presentation will also provide insights and insider perspectives from NASA and the story of Vigilant Aerospace, a startup launched with venture capital (VC) funding to commercialize cutting-edge technology from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center. The technology is a combination of hardware and software that provides new capabilities to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones)—capabilities that are crucial for UAVs to be allowed to fly in the national airspace.

Read more here:

View and download a PDF copy of the presentation here:
“Commercializing Federal R&D: Secrets to Startup Success”


2017 R&D 100 Conference details:

November 16-17, 2017

Walt Disney World Swan Resort
1200 Epcot Resorts Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32803

Register to attend and learn, be inspired by, and network with top innovators and influencers.

About the Speakers:

Janeya Griffin is a Licensing Manager and Technology Transfer Specialist at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center located in Edwards, California. She currently handles patenting and licensing activities for the intellectual property portfolio at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. Ms. Griffin is a HBCU STEM graduate from Grambling State University and a certified Entrepreneurial Technology Commercialization expert in Technology Transfer. She utilizes her innovative and detailed-oriented skill set intertwined with her science and entrepreneurial skills to help private industry, universities and government entities successfully create and implement strategies for both licensing and the commercialization of new technologies. Ms. Griffin holds two Bachelor of Science degrees and a certification in Entrepreneurial Technology Commercialization from California State University, San Bernardino. She also serves as an executive board member for the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer.

Kraettli L. Epperson is the CEO and Co-Founder of Vigilant Aerospace Systems, which provides fully autonomous collision avoidance software for unmanned aircraft based on a patent exclusively licensed from NASA. Mr. Epperson has a 20-year career as a serial entrepreneur and investor in technology startups. He is also the co-founder of R7 Solutions, which provides mapping and workflow systems for utilities, pipelines, wireless, solar, wind and rail systems, including software to manage the land data for Houston METRO’s $1 billion regional rail expansion. Previously, he co-founded Questia Media which built the world’s largest academic digital library and was acquired by Cengage Learning in 2010. Mr. Epperson recently presented “FlightHorizon: Fully Autonomous Detect-and-Avoid for Unmanned Aircraft Systems – Current Capabilities and Future Trends” at the 2017 meeting for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and participated in a panel discussion on “The Future of Drone Sense-and-Avoid Technology” at InterDrone 2017.

About R&D 100 Conference:

From the website:

The R&D 100 Conference is a prestigious annual event sponsored and organized by R&D Magazine recognizing the 100 most significant technology products each year and the scientists and innovators that make these technological advancements possible. Since its launch in 2015, the R&D 100 Conference has also served as an educational event in which cross-disciplinary sessions address a variety of important new developments.  To learn more, visit


Read more about the NASA patent, research and development, and technology behind this presentation. For more information on FlightHorizon, read our Product & Services Overview.

Also, check out our announcement: “FlightHorizon Named an R&D 100 Award Finalist for 2017.”


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