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IEEE Virginia Mountain Section

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Meeting Thursday, January 21, 2016 in Roanoke

Radio Controlled Aerial Vehicles


Alex Greve headshot

Alex Greve
founder of Video Aerial Systems LLC

Presentation Slides 6 MB powerpoint


Radio controlled aerial vehicles (commonly called sUAS or drones) have been around since 1917, but in the last few years have seen a tremendous increase in numbers and potential.  When we hear about drones we usually think of something with 4 spinning rotors carrying a camera.  However, drones have been around long since their current form.  In the 80's drones were nothing more than remote controlled helicopters.  They had use in video production (Yamaha motorcycles used several) and agriculture (mainly in Japan).  We didn't notice them back then… but now they seem to be everywhere thanks to some modern electronics.


The modern drone got its start from a video game system: the Nintendo Wii.  The project was called the "Multi Wii".  It is an ongoing open source project based on a simple Arduino microcontroller and a Wii nunchuck.  Since the inception, many things have been changed:  There are at least 6 spin-off all in one boards and 3 programming interfaces to program them.  They've added accelerometers, GPS, autonomous control, and of course, live video feedback.  They have found their way into many different places from sporting goods (sports for geeks) to search and rescue, to weapons of war.  Their future is uncertain, but we can be certain it is bright.


Alex Greve is the founder of Video Aerial Systems LLC, an equipment manufacturer for the drone industry specializing in radio systems and antennas.  He's been working with sUAS technology since graduating high school in 2000.  Previously, he worked in the power utility sector as a field serviceman, a project manager, and in 2010 an equipment manufacturer: Delta Star.


Report from Salem HS First Robotics Team
The Salem HS team has begun their build phase for 2016. Visit their website for an update on their progress:


Learn more about the First Robotics program here:

Meeting Details:
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Social:  6:30 PM
Dinner:  6:45 PM
Presentation:  7:30 PM

Members and Guests:  $20, Students $10
Let us know if you have special dietary restrictions (vegetarian, dairy or gluten allergy, etc.)


Holiday Inn, Roanoke

3315 Ordway Drive

Roanoke VA 24017

Directions to Holiday Inn, Roanoke:

From I-581 take exit 3W Hershberger Rd. 
Turn right at the first traffic light (near WDBJ-7 studios & Zaxby's) onto Ordway Drive. 
Continue past Big Lots. The Holiday Inn is on the right.

Reservations:  Please RSVP by 5 PM, Monday January 18.  Please specify the number of attendees and any dietary restrictions.  Please RSVP to George Williams, Vice-Chairman, at


Credit: One continuing education credit will be awarded for attending this presentation

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The Virginia Mountain Section (VMS) of the IEEE has been serving members in the Southwest corner of the Commonwealth of Virginia since 1949.

We currently have two Student Branches in local universities and colleges:

  • Virginia Military Institute
  • Virginia Tech

and the VMS Consultants Network Affinity Group

The purpose of this Affinity Group is to share information concerning consulting opportunities, and to make a list of consultants and their areas of expertise available to potential employers.

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Information about our Section, the Chapters, and material of interest to our members may be found by selecting items in the left column of this page.

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(last modified: January 22, 2016 )