Center on AI for Digital, Autonomous and Augmented Aviation

AIDA3 is a multidisciplinary consortium founded by Purdue University and Windracers, a leading cargo drone operator, with opportunities for additional partners dedicated to innovation. Together, we’re leveraging the research expertise of faculty and students from four colleges and one dedicated institute. Windracers, the developer and operator of the ULTRA unmanned aerial vehicle platform, provides extensive experience gained through parcel and humanitarian aid delivery services across the United Kingdom.

Upcoming Events

Smart Crossways Launch Event, Sept. 10

We will reveal a new facility for research and real-world operations of autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs). This is a major milestone in supporting a unique infrastructure we call AIrTonomy, and underscores Purdue’s commitment to safe and trustworthy AI-powered AAVs.

Smart Crossways Launch Details

AIrtonomy Workshop, Sept. 11-12

Today’s autonomous aerial vehicles lack the artificial intelligence needed to safely operate in real-world urban air mobility environments. This 2-day workshop will assemble autonomy researchers to discuss and refine use cases and capabilities of a research infrastructure, called AIrTonomy, that would allow them to tackle this challenge using cyber and physical infrastructure components remotely from anywhere in the world.

AIrtonomy Workshop Details

Four people standing next to a large fixed-wing drone inside a large interior space.


Purdue has launched the world’s first center pioneering use of AI to innovate tomorrow’s modes of autonomous aviation transportation

Windracers, a U.K.-based global cargo vehicle operator, partnered with Purdue as founding member of Center on AI for Digital, Autonomous and Augmented Aviation.

Read more…

AIDA3 team member working on project.

Our Mission

Harnessing the power of AI to revolutionize aviation and transportation, AIDA3 is a hub of innovation where cutting-edge research meets practical application. The multidisciplinary team is pioneering AI and machine learning models to address industry challenges — from optimizing commercial logistics to enhancing safety in autonomous transportation.

AIDA3 team working on a project.

Our Research Pillars

In the pursuit of discoveries and solutions, research is organized in five pillars:

  1. Technology enabling teams of humans to work in unison with many autonomous vehicles.
  2. AI for onboard autonomous sensing, intelligence and control.
  3. AI for supply chain innovation and optimization.
  4. AI for meteorological sensing and weather hazards.
  5. Cybersecurity for AI in digital aviation.

Our team has identified key problem areas that each of our research pillars expects to address.

Work with us!

Get hands-on in world-class facilities with leaders in autonomous vehicle technologies. Email about opportunities to get involved.

Illustration of AIDA3 facility.

Our Facilities

Integrating with existing world-class facilities and envisioning new ones, this research center has three components:

  • Purdue UAV Research and Test Facility (PURT): Notably the world’s largest indoor motion-capture environment for UAS research, PURT enables algorithm development by capturing precise ground truth data. 
  • Smart Operations Center: This facility is being built for immersive, real-world remote operations and research. Tools like a gridded wall of screens and smart wearable devices will enhance interactions between operators and their managed AI systems.
  • Purdue Urban Proving Ground: Envisioned as the world’s first and largest outdoor urban motion-capture space, this 12-acre facility aims to enable real-time sensing with centimeter-level accuracy, critical for digital twin simulations.

Currently, it can take 10 people to operate one UAV. It is time for one operator to be able to coordinate 100 or more UAVs at the same time.

Sabine Brunswicker

Director, AIDA3

Become a Partner

Participate in cutting-edge research and hone your own capabilities. AIDA3 is a multidisciplinary consortium with opportunities for additional partners to join. Partnership tiers are outlined below. Download our info sheet (PDF) for more information. Interested in becoming a partner? Contact us at

Partnership Tiers

Fee: $2.6 million/Y1 and $1 million thereafter


  • Seat at Consortium Governance Council as Founding Member
  • Co-Chair the Technical Steering Committee together with Director.  
  • Tier I benefits. 

Fee: $1 million/Y1


  • Seat at the Consortium Governance Council
  • Right to name a member in Technical Steering Committee. 
  • Rights to intellectual property. 
  • Tier II benefits. 

Fee: $80,000/Y


  • On-campus recruitment and workshops. 
  • Active engagement and partnership to seek large-scale, external funding on strategic research at national levels. 
  • Right to name member in Technical Liaison Team.
  • Tier III benefits. 
  • Funding will typically go directly to seed funding for doctoral researchers/faculty.  

Fee: $20,000/Y


  • Member logo on website. 
  • Ability for researchers from member organization to attend seminars. 
  • Access to research outcomes. 


Sabine Brunswicker

Director, AIDA3
Professor, Purdue Polytechnic Institute

Sabine Brunswicker is an interdisciplinary trained scholar and thought leader in digital innovation and autonomous systems, with a particular focus on physical AI/ML and human-autonomy teaming. As a daughter of a pilot, work experience in aviation and transportation, she is enthusiastic in tackling grant challenges in aviation and airmobility using AI to save, trustworthy, and economically scalable use of autonomous UAVs and manned aircrafts. Prior to joining Purdue, she was leading a large research group at Fraunhofer-Gesellshaft, Germany’s largest research institution with a focused on user-inspired research translating lab to life. Her work has been funded by NSF, NIH, DoD, DARPA, Google, and other funding agencies.

Find Sabine Brunswicker on LinkedIn.

Core Faculty

Affiliated Faculty

Mahsa Gahsemi
Sebastien Helie
Nan Kong
Santiago Torres-Arias
Phillip E. Paré
Aniket Bera
Dan Czisco
Eugenio Culurciello
Stacey Connaughton
Z. Berkay Celik
Zahra Godsi
Yuehwern Yih
And others!

Student Fellows

Brooks Butler
Chuhao Deng
Worawis (Willis) Sribunma
Maheed H. Ahmed
Dipam Patel
Li-Yu (Melody) Lin
Jayanth Shreekumar

Join our research team!

Illustration of a robotic hand shaking a human hand

Email about opportunities to get involved.

Contact Us