RAD Signature Event

Welcome to the West Virginia REC Foundation Aerial Drone (RAD) Signature Event, February 25-26th, 2022 at Fairmont State University's Falcon Center.

Come attend the largest and most exciting aerial drone tournament, NASA educator training, and aviation career expo in the nation!

EDUCATOR WORKSHOP: The excitement begins Friday evening with a workshop on NASA's Advanced Air Mobility Academy (5-7pm) in the conference center. NASA’s vision for Advanced Air Mobility is to develop a safe, accessible, automated, and affordable air transportation system allowing passengers and cargo to travel on-demand in innovative aircraft across town, between neighboring cities, or to other locations typically only accessible by cars, trains, or other land-based vehicles. The first ever in-person AAM Academy will be hosted by a NASA Aerospace Reserch Engineer, Michael Vincent, from Langley Research Center, alongside NASA STEM Education Specialists and is designed to teach AAM principles through hands-on STEM (focus on mathematics) activities that can be taken back to the classroom. Formal and informal educators who work with with students in grades 6th – 12th are invited to attend. Space is limited. Participation in RAD is not required.


KICKOFF AND KEYNOTE: Our tournament will kick off at 7:30pm on Friday with a welcome from Fairmont State President, Dr. Mirta Martin, NASA's IV&V's lead for the Dragonfly drone mission, Roger Harris, REC Foundation Drone Coordinator Louann Cormier, For The Win Robotics President Ennio Verderese, and a keynote presentation on the future of air travel and experimental aircraft at NASA's Langley Research Center from Michael Vincent. Sign up to attend and get a ticket for free pizza and a soft drink (No participation in other aspects of the event requried. Pizza served in Gym 2 from 6-7 PM)!


RAD COMPETITION: Doors open Saturday at 7:30 am (as does Starbucks!) and each team will have their own pit space (8' table and 4 chairs) in Gym 2, along with a full practice field. Gym 1 will host our competition and a skills field, along with seating for 250 spectators. If you are not yet registered to have a team or for the event, you can do both at RobotEvents.com


VIRTUAL RAD: Due to a technical problem with the VRAD software, we have had to cancel this portion of the program. SORRY!

AEROSPACE EXPO: NASA and local aerospace companies will be exhibiting on the second floor from 9 am - 3 pm Saturday, overlooking the tournament and pits to share cutting edge research, career opportunities, and hands on activities. Exhibitors include: NASA IV&V, NASA LARC, EASW, Aurora Flight Sciences, Fairmont State Aviation Program, FTW-Robotics (Drone Help Desk), Pratt & Whitney, WV National Guard, Starbase, and more!


Friday, February 25

4:00 PM - RAD Teams can practice and program thier drones with FTW-Robotics (Gym 2, 4-7pm)

5:00 PM - AAM Educator and Student Workshop (Conference Center 3rd floor 5-7pm)

6:00 PM - Free Pizza Party (PLEASE pre-register for headcount - REGISTER HERE)

7:30 PM - Tournament Kick Off, Welcome, and NASA Keynote Presentation

Saturday, February 26

7:30 AM – Doors open, Inspection begins

8:30 AM – Opening Ceremony & Pilots' Meeting

9:00 AM – Qualification Matches & Judging Begin; Skills Fields Open

9:00 AM – Aerospace Expo (Gym 1)

12:00 PM – Lunch Break

1:00 PM – Qualification Matches Resume

3:00 PM – Alliance Selection; Skills Fields Close

3:15 PM – Elimination Tournament Begins

4:00 PM – Closing Ceremony and Awards

Where to Eat

Starbucks (2nd floor): One of the largest Starbucks in West Virgina is located inside the Falcon Center ensuring your coffee and cafe needs are well taken care of, and they are opening at 7:30 AM Saturday just for our event.

Chick-fil-A (2nd floor): This popular option will be open Friday evening for dinner (till 8 PM), and again Saturday for lunch (11 AM - 6 PM).

Dining Hall (3rd floor): Our dining hall features a wide range of dishes, beverages, and deserts. This all-you-can-eat option for $7/person is the easiest and most efficient approach to feeding your team. They will be open for dinner on Friday (4 - 6 PM) , Brunch (11 AM - 1 PM), and dinner (4 - 6 PM). Their menu is located here.

NOTE: Outside food is not permitted in the Falcon Center due to the university's contracts with our food vendors.

Directions and Parking

Address: 1201 Locust Ave., Fairmont, WV 26554

From Interstate I-79, take exit 136 onto the Fairmont Gateway Connector toward Fairmont. Note: this is easier even if coming from the South.

Go straight for 2.6 miles through 2 traffic circles, stay in the left lane.

Turn Left onto Merchant St. / 3rd Ave. at the light. Note: Do NOT go over the bridge immediately in front of you into downtown Fairmont.

Follow 3rd St. across Fairmont Ave (Rt. 250) and continue straight. Note: 3rd. St. turns into Nuzum Pl.

Turn Left onto Locust Ave and go .4 miles to the first entrance of Fairmont State.

Turn Right onto Bryant St., and enter the parking garage. You may park on any level except the top for free.

  • Take the elevator to the highest floor to access the bridge so you can more easily roll your equipment across campus.

  • Once you cross the bridge you will be in the main plaza in front of the Falcon Center. We will have signs posted to help guide you to the correct door.

Where to Stay?

There are numerous hotels located within 15 minutes of campus:

Fairmont Hotels


Contact: Todd.Ensign@FairmontState.edu or call/text 304-685-3146.