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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics




    Most Authoritative Single Reference on UAS Design


    January 5, 2012 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) announces the publication of a new book, “Designing Unmanned Aircraft Systems: A Comprehensive Approach,” by Jay Gundlach, which explores all elements of the design of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including options for architecture and design drivers across a broad spectrum of UAS types. (Published by AIAA, 2012; 800 pages, hardback, ISBN: 978-1-60086-843-6; List Price: $109.95)

    Gundlach’s work is the most authoritative single reference on UAS design available, and provides readers with a solid understanding of the end-to-end design of UAS, while allowing a deeper appreciation for the nature of UAS design. Throughout the work, Gundlach advocates an approach for developing competitive, balanced UAS through a multidisciplinary systems philosophy.

    Topics covered by the book include: An extensive survey and analysis of UAS launch and recovery techniques, along with an explanation of the selection and design process; communication systems; derivations of electric aircraft performance equations; an overview of mission planning systems and control station software functionality; design of aircraft geometry and payload placement; an overview of ground control station types and functionality; and cost analysis. Each chapter offers equations, with solutions, so that the student can gain practical experience with the mathematics involved in the design of UAS. The book also features illustrations that visually demonstrate the principles discussed in the text, and presents UAS case histories to further demonstrate what works and what does not. Jay Gundlach is the Director of Conceptual Design at Aurora Flight Sciences, Manassas, Va. He earned a PhD in aerospace engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, with graduate research in aircraft multidisciplinary design optimization. Prior to working for Aurora Flight Sciences, Gundlach served as vice president, Advanced Development, at Insitu, Inc., where he led the development of the RQ-21A Integrator UAS. He has also helped develop 17 different UAS at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory as a contractor.

    Review copy requests may be emailed to  Orders may be placed online:; by mail: AIAA Publications Customer Service, P.O. Box 960, Herndon, VA 20172-0960; by phone: 703.661.1595 or (toll-free, U.S. only) 800.682.2422; or by fax: 703.661.1501.


    AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and 90 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit



    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 500, Reston, VA 20191-4344
    Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551