David Arterburn

Rotorcraft Systems Engineering and Simulation Center


301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map


Mr. Arterburn currently heads a multi-disciplined team of researchers and students working on rotorcraft, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), model based systems engineering and payloads for space and earth bound systems. Mr. Arterburn leads the UAH team supporting the FAA UAS Center of Excellence as a core university on the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) Team. He is the Principal Investigator for a four school ASSURE team conducting research in UAS ground collision severity and development of safety systems for UAS systems to reduce the potential for injury to non-participants during UAS operations over people. He is currently a member of an ASTM team working on consensus standards for the safety of UAS for flying over people.

Mr. Arterburn is a retired Master Army Aviator with over 28 years in Army Aviation. He has served in engineering and acquisition positions including assignments as the Chief, Technical Management Division, Armed Scout Helicopter Project Office, Chief, Flight Projects Office, US Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate, Test Director and Experimental Test Pilot at the US Army Aviation Technical Test Center, Chief Engineer for the UH-60M Upgrade Program and Chief Engineer of the OH-58F Kiowa Warrior Cockpit and Sensor Upgrade Program. Mr. Arterburn served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy after receiving his Master's Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park. Mr. Arterburn graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1984. His awards include the 2008 and 2013 American Helicopter Society Grover E. Bell Award as part of the U.S. Army/NASA/Sikorsky UH-60M Upgrade Flight Control Team and AMRDEC/NASA/PM Armed Scout Helicopter/Bell Aerodynamics Improvement Team, respectively, NASA Group Achievement Award for the development and first flight of the Rotorcraft Aircrew Systems Concepts Airborne Laboratory (RASCAL), TECOM Professionalism Award and numerous military awards. Mr. Arterburn is a member of the American Helicopter Society (AHS), the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the U.S. Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) and the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.


  • M.S., Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland at College Park
  • B.S., United States Military Academy, 1984

Recent Publications

  • Arterburn, D., Ewing, M., Prabhu, R., Zhu, F., FAA UAS Center of Excellence Task A4: UAS Ground Collision Severity Evaluation, Final Report, 27 October 2016.

  • Arterburn, D. Duling, C., Final Report for the Task A11 - Part 107 Waiver Request Case Study, Revision 1 dated 21 October 2016.

  • Arterburn, D., Opportunities and Challenges to Achieving Level 1 Handling Qualities in Future Upgrades of the UH-60M, Final Report, 31 May 2016.

  • Schrage, D. and Arterburn, D., Future Vertical Lift Airworthiness Certification – Should it be Based on a Civil Aviation Functional Safety Certification Standard? presented at the 72nd Annual American Helicopter Society Forum, May 2016.

  • Albrecht, B., Horney, D., Arterburn, D., Abel, B., Schneider, J. and Leveson, N., Systems Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) of the UH-60M Upgrade Warning Caution and Advisory System, Final Report, 2 March 2016.

  • Albrecht, B., Arterburn, D., Horney, D., Abel, B., and Leveson, N., A New Approach to Hazard Analysis for Rotorcraft presented at the AHS Development, Affordability and Qualification of Complex Systems Specialists' Meeting, Huntsville, AL, February 2016

  • Arterburn, David R. and Edwin Martin, Innovation and Modernization Projects Affecting Capabilities and Technology (Impact) Study: The Airworthiness of Complex Systems, Final Report, Aviation Development Directorate, Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, 1 January 2015.

  • Berger, T.; Tischler, M.B.; Blanken, C.L.; Fujizawa, B. T,; Harding, J. W.; Borden, C. C.; Cothren, L. E.; Wright, J. J.; Arterburn, D. R.; Pfrommer, M. R., Improved Handling Qualities for the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior in the Degraded Visual Environment presented at the 67th Annual American Helicopter Society Forum, May 2011.

  • Fletcher, J. ; Mansur, M. H. ; Moralez, E.; Robison, D. E. ; Cherepinsky, I.; Driscoll, J.; Arterburn, D.R.; Morse, C.S. ;Kalinowski, K.F., UH-60M Upgrade Fly-By-Wire Flight Control Risk Reduction using the RASCAL JUH-60A In-Flight Simulator presented at the 64th Annual American Helicopter Society Forum, May 2008.

  • Moralez, E. ; Hindson, W. S.; Frost, C. R.; Tucker, G. E.; Arterburn, D. R.; Kalinowski, K. F.; Dones, F., Flight Research Qualification of the Army/NASA RASCAL Variable-Stability Helicopter, presented at the 58th Annual American Helicopter Society Forum, June 2002.