University of Maryland entities partnering with defense company BlueHalo


Lauren Bacon

CALIFORNIA, Md. - The University of Maryland (UMD) MATRIX Lab is announcing its partnership with BlueHalo, a leading provider of critical capabilities and technologies across Space, Air, and Cyber domains, on long-range communications and autonomy testing efforts. The UMD UAS Research and Operations Center (UROC) will also be collaborating on these efforts, bringing their drone expertise. The MATRIX Lab and UROC are enthusiastically providing BlueHalo with facilities, resources, and expertise. UROC will be working with BlueHalo initially on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and communications, while the MATRIX Lab’s open air-land lab and anechoic chamber will be utilized for research and indoor testing. Its water tunnel and outdoor testing capabilities will be available for future research opportunities. The goal is to make a positive impact on the nation’s defense mission, support research into innovative new technologies, and establish a qualified workforce in Southern Maryland and beyond. The MATRIX Lab and UROC have regional partnerships with the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) and the Naval Surface Warfare Centers at Indian Head, Carderock, and Dahlgren.

The MATRIX Lab, UROC, and BlueHalo will support student internships, scholarships, education programs, and workforce development. The relationship aims to help protect the country, advance autonomous technologies, and improve the Southern Maryland ecosystem through innovation and a strong workforce. Both the University of Maryland and BlueHalo welcome partners to support these technology and workforce development missions in order to expand the synergistic ecosystem and spark innovation.

BlueHalo currently supports the Department of Defense Test Resource Management Center (TRMC) for the development of phased array antennas for telemetry operations and the testing and evaluation of autonomous systems. This active partnership between BlueHalo and TRMC is expected to strengthen and complement future Department of Defense research and educational activities at the MATRIX Lab and UROC.

“We are excited about this partnership,” said Dr. Reza Ghodssi, MATRIX Lab Executive Director of Research and Innovation. “BlueHalo substantively adds value to our endeavor, and we are looking forward to creating new opportunities and solutions for our stakeholders, especially around the test and evaluation of autonomy.”

“BlueHalo leverages our expertise in autonomy along with our rapid prototyping capabilities to support critical national defense missions through transformative UAS innovations,” said Dr. Vikram Manikonda, BlueHalo Chief Technology Officer. “Our new partnership with the University of Maryland will not only provide BlueHalo with access to world-class faculty, facilities, and capabilities for the testing and evaluation of autonomous systems but will also give us the opportunity to invest in students and create a talent pipeline to develop the next-generation workforce.”

About BlueHalo

BlueHalo is purpose-built to provide industry-leading capabilities in the domains of Space, C-UAS and Autonomous Systems, Cyber, and AI/ML. BlueHalo focuses on inspired engineering to develop, transition, and field next-generation capabilities to solve the most complex challenges of our customers’ critical missions and reestablish our national security posture in the near-peer contested arena. Learn more at

About the MATRIX Lab and the A. James Clark School of Engineering

The MATRIX Lab is a high-tech research and education facility on the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland (USMSM) campus. Its unique features are built to advance autonomy and uncrewed systems. The lab serves industry, government, academia, and the people of Southern Maryland. The MATRIX Lab’s research facilities are unique in Southern Maryland and include an open air-land lab, anechoic chamber, and water tunnel. Learn more and reserve lab space at

The University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering is a premier program, ranked among the top 20 in the world. The Clark School is leading research advancements in aerospace, autonomy, bioengineering, robotics, nanotechnology, disaster resilience, energy and sustainability, and cybersecurity. Located just a few miles from Washington, D.C., the Clark School is at the center of a constellation of high-tech companies and federal laboratories, offering students and faculty access to unique professional opportunities. A broad spectrum of academic programs is complemented by a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, early hands-on educational experiences, and participation in national and international competitions. The Clark School’s students, faculty, and alumni are engineering life-changing innovations for millions. Learn more at

Published May 3, 2023