About Black Swift

Black Swift Technologies (BST) is recognized for delivering reliable, robust, and highly accurate Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Its purpose-built scientific aerial platforms are used around the globe for a variety of precision aerial initiatives including: environmental monitoring, precision aerial mapping, infrastructure inspection, engineering and surveying, construction management and monitoring, precision agriculture, volumetric measurement, stockpile management, and risk mitigation.

Modular by Design, Accurate by Nature™

Founded in 2011, Black Swift Technologies LLC, develops custom Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) solutions leveraging the SwiftCore™ Flight Management System (FMS) consisting of the SwiftPilot™ autopilot system, the SwiftTab™ tablet-based user interface, the SwiftStation™ ground station, and application specific sensor integrations. The SwiftCore™ FMS is designed to be modular, robust, and simple to operate allowing users to focus on data products. Engineered from inception as a unified solution, BST’s combination of airframe engineering, software design, advanced flight management, and modular sensor deployment sets Black Swift Technologies’ UAS deliverables apart from the competition.

Custom Project Engineering & Development

In addition to the SwiftCore™ FMS, Black Swift Technologies has unique capabilities to develop and deploy advanced unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) due the team’s combined expertise in the design, implementation, and analysis of advanced “smart” control systems, expertise in legal and safe flight operations in the United States airspace, and their practical experience and knowledge from thousands of hours of UAS flight operations in demanding conditions. These “smart” control systems provide industry leading sensor-based control of the UAS that minimizes operator workload while improving the quality of the observed data by autonomously modifying the flight path based on sensor inputs.

Leadership Team

– Jack Elston –

Jack has a M.S. in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado. Prior to founding Black Swift, he was an engineering consultant at Forge Aeronautics, a local startup, where he was one of the lead designers of a small, low-cost autopilot. Dr. Elston’s research involved the development of four unmanned aircraft systems at the Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles. This included co-authoring a software suite for service discovery and subsystem intercommunication in complex aerial networks, and conducting over 500 flights with unmanned aircraft.


Maciej has a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado working on UAS related research and has been involved in over 500 flights with unmanned aircraft. This work also involved working closely with the FAA to secure permission to perform flights legally in the National Airspace System. Maciej is also the principal investigator for a NASA project to map soil moisture from a small UAS utilizing an L-band radiometer.

Senior Engineer

Douglas Weibel has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado. His primary research interest is the use of small drone’s for environmental research and his recent academic publications address high-accuracy attitude and velocity estimation from small drones flown in wind and using inexpensive drones to collect oceanographic measurements. His experience with drones includes being an early principal developer for the ArduPilot open-source autopilot system, designing drone state-estimation and control-system hardware and algorithms at the University of Colorado, and piloting drones during numerous research campaigns funded by NOAA, NASA and NSF. He has a wide range of competencies and interests. Examples of his diverse skill set include racing a 15-meter sailplane at the national level, holding FINRA Series 7 and 66 registrations, managing multiple private investment firms, and teaching graduate and undergraduate courses.

– Cory Dixon –
Director of Engineering & Operations

Cory Dixon has a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering as well as a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Dixon has been involved with the design, development, and testing of autonomous robotic systems for over thirteen years ranging from small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) to explosive ordinance disposal ground robotic systems. During his graduate studies, Dr. Dixon was the primary engineer, designer, and pilot for three different successful unmanned aircraft platforms and systems. In total, he has worked with or flown over eleven different unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), with differing autopilot systems, in Colorado, Florida, and Alaska operational areas. He developed the emergency procedures protocol used by RECUV at the University of Colorado in the operations of UAS, which has resulted in more than sixty FAA Certificates of Authorization (COAs). Recently, Dr. Dixon has managed numerous commercial and government contracts and was the Principal Investigator (PI) on a DoD Phase I and two DoD Phase II SBIRs.

– Jon Vince –
General Counsel

Jon holds a B.A. (Hons.) and J.D. from Canadian universities and an LL.M. in Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he completed his thesis on satellite signal interference liability. Prior to joining Black Swift Technologies, Jon worked in numerous positions including as a communications attorney for a large mid-west regional law firm and as a satcom business consultant at an international business consulting firm in the space and satellite sector. Jon’s specialized experience revolves around international and federal regulatory law regarding wireless communications and remote sensing technologies, including representation before the FAA and FCC. He has significant experience in legal practice, business consulting and business development.