CUAir is an interdisciplinary project team combining aspects of computer science, engineering, and business. The team aims to provide students from all majors at Cornell with an opportunity to learn about unmanned air systems in a hands-on setting.
Team Members
Years of Flight
First in Mission Finishes


CUAir competes in the annual Student Unmanned Air Systems (SUAS) Competition sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) at the PAX River Naval Base in Maryland. Our team members gain incredible experiences with methods and tools used by the industry throughout the entire process of manufacturing our systems.



Rachit Agarwal

Rachit Agarwal is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University. His research interests are in systems, especially for big data analytics, cloud computing and datacenter networks. He has also been known to dive deep into theoretical problems arising out of building practical systems. His research thus integrates systems, networks, and theory.  

Agarwal recently completed postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley, where he led the Succinct project. He completed his PhD at the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign (UIUC) and was awarded the 2012 UIUC Rambus research award for outstanding performance in computer science and engineering research. He recently gave an invited talk at a workshop for distributed computing at the ACM Principles Of Distributed Computing 2016.

Bruce Land

Bruce Land is a Senior Lecturer in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell. He teaches three courses revolving around microcontrollers, instrumentation and programmable logic.  Land received a B.S. in physics from Harvey Mudd College in 1968 and a Ph.D. in neurobiology from Cornell University in 1976. He was a Muscular Dystrophy Association postdoc in Neurobiology and Behavior (NBB) at Cornell for three years, then a lecturer in NBB for seven years. In 1987 he moved to the Cornell Theory Center as a computational research associate, then started supporting graphics and animation. He was scientific visualization project leader at the Theory Center from 1989 to 1998. From 1992 to 1998 he taught an introductory computer graphics course in Computer Science at Cornell. From 1998 to 2007 he taught computer programming and electronics courses in NBB.

C. Thomas Avedisian

Dr. Avedisian joined Cornell in 1980 after receiving his doctorate. Prior to that he was employed at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, N.J. in 1974 where he worked on thermal design of electronic systems. Dr. Avedisian has been a Guest Researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Gaithersburg, Md.) since 1988 where he has pursued research on spray combustion and microboiling processes, and he was a Visiting Professor at Brown University in 1994/95. In 2008/2009 Dr. Avedisian was named a Science Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Washington, DC by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. At DOE he has assisted with program review and development for new energy technologies.


Check out what we've done!

2016: Odysseus

The Odysseus airframe is the most efficient and modular aircraft CUAir has manufactured. Unlike its predecessors, Odysseus features a wooden skin on the wing and tail, which when paired with fiberglass, creates an extremely light and strong design. The fuselage is designed to utilize 3D printing and laser cutting, resulting in a 50% decrease in build time from Eos. Odysseus is capable of catapult launch and controlled belly landing, and, like previous aircrafts, is powered by a brushless motor. Electricity is provided by three lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries to the propulsion system, onboard computer and autopilot system.

2015: Icarus/Eos

The Eos air system takes things to a new level. Eos's design features a significant drop in weight and new elements of flight, such as catapult launching and controlled belly landing. Like its predecessors, Eos's body is fully composite. With a lighter payload and no landing gear, Eos is CUAir's lightest custom-built aircraft yet at 17 pounds. The airframe's belly is protected by Kevlar fiber to prevent any damage to the airframe and payload during controlled belly landings. Eos is powered by a brushless motor. Electricity is provided by two lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries to the propulsion system and onboard computer and autopilot systems.


The application for Fall 2016 is now closed. Check back next year for more opportunities!


Thank you sponsors! As an independent student organization, CUAir relies heavily on external sources for funding. Without the generous support of our sponsors, we would not be where we are today: a world-class team in the area of autonomous aircraft design and fabrication. CUAir depends on these contributions to excel and expand our efforts. With this support, we aim to continue our success at the competition next June.

Sponsorship benefits include tax deductible donations, increased recruiting presence on Cornell University's campus, direct access to the CUAir members, and national visibility on both the CUAir website and aircraft.

To learn more about the sponsorship process and the benefits of CUAir sponsors take a look at our sponsorship packet or fill out the "Contact Us" form below.

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For general questions about the team, recruitment, or sponsorships, please submit the following form and we will contact you shortly.