Event Details

Here you can find many event details for the STRATUS 2024 Conference, including the event synopsis, schedule, program committee, keynote speakers, and field trips.


About the Conference

The STRATUS 2024 conference brings together academics, industry representatives, and domain specialists to share perspectives on this rapidly evolving field of a wide range of topics. Since its inception in 2016, STRATUS went from a one-day to a two-day and then to a three-day annual workshop and is now a three-day conference and includes previously recorded field trips. Based on the received request from attendees, we have expanded the workshops to reach entities beyond the original scope of a Western New York audience.

This conference is in-person attendance.

What sets the non-profit STRATUS 2024 Conference apart from other specialized or larger UAS meetings are the important interdisciplinary topics ranging from the latest challenges in UAV platform design and technology to sensor design, information gathering and processing, and modeling to produce data that support decision-making.

The STRATUS 2024 Conference topics include:

  • Environmental Mapping, Monitoring and Modelling
  • Remote Sensing
  • 3D and Multi-view Imaging
  • Platforms, Calibration, Sensor, and Imaging Systems
  • Multi-sensor Data Fusion
  • Technologies and Applications
  • Algorithm and Image Processing
  • Photogrammetry
  • Policy, Public Perception and Privacy Issues
  • K-12 Education
  • Applications focused on Upstate NY, Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario Regions
  • UAV Applications in Healthcare

The Special Focus of the STRATUS 2024 Conference is “hazards, environmental mapping, monitoring and forecasting”. We invite participants who are interested in sharing their insight, latest research, and technical challenges to engage in scientific and practical conversations to identify collaborative partners for facing the complex challenges under extreme conditions with holistic approaches in designing and testing integrated UAV mission planning, information gathering and decision making for extreme conditions, rapid response or emergency management. 

Our Program includes both oral and poster sessions, student prizes for best paper/poster presentation, break and lunch for networking, keynote speakers, panel discussion, exhibits, live demonstrations, happy hours and social gathering. Thanks to our sponsors, we keep the conference fees affordable.

The STRATUS 2024 Conference is a collaborative organizational effort including researchers from some of the region’s leading universities. The general organizing committee is made up of researchers working at the interface of universities, industries, government agencies, and other community stakeholders from these institutions: 

• SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF)
• Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
• University at Buffalo (UB)

And the scientific community converge abroad range of expert from many universities and institutes.

We all hope to see you at the STRATUS 2024 Conference.


– the Conference Organization Team

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact bsalehi@esf.edu.

Event Schedule


Keynote Speakers

Dr. Steven J. Thomson

Funding for Unmanned Systems Research and Related Technologies in Agriculture at the USDA-NIFA

Dr. Steven J. Thomson is National Program Leader (NPL) with the USDA National Institute Food and Agriculture (NIFA). He engages Universities, other federal agencies, and industry to provide national leadership in Capacity and Competitive Grant programs. The Research, Education, and Outreach programs he leads focus on engineering processes to improve systems relevant to agriculture. These include Engineering for Agricultural Production Systems and NSF-collaborative programs such as the National Robotics Initiative, Cyber-Physical Systems, and AI Institutes. Dr. Thomson received his Ph. D from the University of Florida in the Ag. And Bio. Engineering Dept. and has background in aerial application of crop protection materials, irrigation management, water balance and crop modeling, decision support systems for agricultural management, sensing systems and electronics, precision agriculture, applied statistics, and agricultural safety. Dr. Thomson was incoming Associate Professor at Virginia Tech in the College of Engineering and had received the Alpha Epsilon Award for his Research/Extension program and Outstanding Faculty Award in the Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) Department. He was a Lead Scientist with the USDA ARS before joining USDA-NIFA in early 2016. He has authored or co-authored over 100 publications, two book chapters, and several Extension publications and software. View Steven’s professional webpage.

Dr. Qassim Abdullah

Drones Use in United States of America and Market Dynamics

Dr. Qassim Abdullah is a highly accomplished scientist boasting over 45 years of expertise in analytical photogrammetry, digital remote sensing, and civil and surveying engineering across industrial, research and development (R&D), and academic realms. With a doctorate and master’s degrees in photogrammetry from the University of Washington, he currently serves as Vice President and Chief Scientist at Woolpert Inc., spearheading the design and management of strategic programs for the development and implementation of new remote sensing technologies tailored to the evolving needs of geospatial users. Additionally, Dr. Abdullah holds adjunct professor roles at the University of Maryland and Penn State, where he instructs graduate courses on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), photogrammetry, and remote sensing. Notable achievements include his pioneering introduction of Geiger-mode and single photon lidar to the geospatial industry, his leadership in Woolpert’s research endeavors encompassing intelligent transportation systems, digital twin technologies, smart cities, and UAS sensor calibration, as well as his pivotal role as the creator and principal author of the ASPRS Positional Accuracy Standards for Digital Geospatial Data. Recognized as a Fellow with ASPRS and the recipient of numerous awards, including the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Dr. Abdullah continues to make significant contributions to the field, evident in his editorial column for the ASPRS journal, participation in esteemed panels and committees such as the NOAA Hydrographic Services Review Panel and the Transportation Research Board, and his extensive certifications as a photogrammetrist, licensed professional surveyor and mapper, thermographer, and Certified GEOINT Professional in Remote Sensing and Imagery Analysis. View Qassim’s professional webpage.

Ken Stewart

Progress in UAS and Aviation in Central New York: An Enhancement to Airspace Integration

Ken Stewart has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of NUAIR since Dec 2020. Prior to joining NUAIR, Stewart held several leadership positions at General Electric including CEO of AiRXOS, a GE aviation company, where he led innovation, development, and commercialization of Unmanned Traffic Management services, and Managing Director at GE Ventures overseeing the new business creation function for GE. Prior to that Mr. Stewart served in executive roles with several venture capital and private equity-backed companies commercializing and scaling pre-revenue start-ups and transforming organizations for growth. Mr. Stewart also serves on the board of New York Aviation Management Association (NYAMA) as well as the Commercial Drone Alliance, (CDA) organizations that work with federal policymakers and industry stakeholders to help create relevant rules to scale commercial UAS and Advanced Air Mobility operations. View Ken’s professional webpage.


Student Prizes


Program will include Student prizes for best presentation and poster!!

The prizes are included 6 DJI drones!

This year, as part of your registration enjoy gifts from GRSS along with this free 10.5 oz whiskey glass and square slate coaster!!

Program Committee

General Chair/Technical Program Chair

Bahram Salehi, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
View Bahram’s professional webpage

Co-Chair/Financial Chair

Emmett Ientilucci, Digital Image and Remote Sensing Lab, Rochester Institute of Technology
View Emmett’s professional webpage

Workshop Chair/Tutorial Chair

Peter Spache
Rochester Institute of Technology, View Peter’s professional webpage

Student Involvement Chair/Web Administrator

Sina Jarahizadeh
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY, View Sina’s LinkedIn webpage

Local Chair

Brandon Murphy

Associate Director, Open Academy at SUNY College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry

Sponsorship Chair

Timothy Bauch

Research Engineer, Rochester Institute of Technology, View Tim’s LinkedIn webpage