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Small Unmanned Air Systems – Enforcement Tool or Security Threat?

Brought to you by The Security Group

The adoption of small unmanned air systems (SUAS) is proceeding rapidly in a number of areas with the potential benefits to society being many and continuing to grow.

Registration for this event is now closed.

About the event

This half-day London event, commences with a buffet lunch and will examine perspectives from a selection of the numerous areas in which SUAS implementation is expanding, including - civilian, law enforcement and military, plus applications such as surveying buildings, collecting video for media use, supporting law enforcement activities and providing situational awareness to dismounted soldiers.

While the design of some SUAS are led by the security or defence market, it can be considered to be closely rivalled by the technology available at the high end of the hobby market. Including autonomous, GPS-based guidance systems, real-time video streaming and significant payload capability, such devices may enable those with hostile intent to engage in a number of activities, ranging from unwarranted snooping to delivering threatening effects (which even if not genuine could still cause significant disruption).

This Security and Defence SIG event will analyse both sides of this issue, discussing what action could be taken to maximise the potential benefits that SUAS can add to society – while retaining the support of society – and at the same time limiting the threat of their misuse.

Perspectives shared will be:
1. User #1: ‘UAS as surveillance tool’ perspective
2. User #2: counter-terrorist, ‘UAS as threat’ perspective
3. Technical #1:
4. Technical #2:
5. Legal perspective

You can follow @cambwireless on Twitter and tweet about this event using #CWSecurity.

Hosted by CMS

CMS is a pioneering firm with a distinctive approach to business law.

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Supported by The KTN

The KTN is the UK'S innovation network.

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The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.


Registration and Networking over Buffet Lunch


Introduction to Security & Defence SIG from Nicholas Hill, Plextek Consulting


Welcome from our supporter, Steve Gale of KTN


UAVs: flying into the legal headwind; Ross McKean, Partner, Data Protection Practice, Olswang

UAVs are multiplying and as their price point continues to drop a large consumer market is now in reach. They raise some challenging legal and regulatory issues and Brussels is planning new restrictions. In this session Ross McKean, the head of Olswang’s award winning data protection practice, will give a brief overview of the legal and regulatory landscape for UAVs in the UK and how to keep regulators and lawyers happy when flying them.




Rapid design and manufacture of unmanned systems;Jim Scanlan, Professor of Aerospace Design, University of Southampton

This talk will provide an update on unmanned systems activities at the University following the flight in 2011 of the “worlds first printed aircraft”. It addresses the challenges of providing low cost reliable systems for unmanned air vehicles.




Potential Emergency Service Applications; Alan Brooke, UAS Lead, CAST (Centre for Applied Science & Technology)

As with any novel technology Unmanned Systems present opportunities and challenges. This presentation will review their use to date and discuss a number of other areas where their adoption can have benefits across the range of emergency service operations.




Refreshments and networking


Unmanned Air Systems as a threat; Counter-UAS SME (Subject Matter Expert), Dstl, UK Government

Please note that this speaker appears at the meeting strictly under the Chatham House Rule.
This presentation will review a number of recent UAS misuse incidents, look at the typical systems involved, categorise the types of misuse of most concern and outline the real-world risk involved. It will then go on to discuss the need for a proportionate response to the risk and outline some current UK Government initiatives.




Airborne Monitoring of ground traffic behaviour for hidden threat assessment using a swarm of UAVs’; Antonios Tsourdos, Head of the Centre for Cyber-Physical Systems, Institute of Aerospace Sciences, Cranfield University

Using a swarm of UAVs has been receiving attention for a variety of applications to take advantage of its inherent flexibility and versatility. The focus of this talk is airborne monitoring of ground traffic behaviour by multiple UAVs in order to detect disguised threats and then to notify the human commander about the potentially dangerous vehicles.




Panel session with all speakers and KTN chaired by Nicholas Hill, Plextek Consulting


Complete evaluation forms and Event Closes


Alan Brooke - Home Office

Ross McKean - Partner, DLA Piper LLP

Jim Scanlan

Antonios Tsourdos - Head of Centre for Cyber-Physical Systems, Cranfield University

SIG Champions

Phil Burr - Product Marketing Manager, Arm

Phil, as a senior product manager, has grown product revenue by focusing on the customer. Covering product strategy, product marketing, business development and product management, Phil is driven by the desire to connect customers to products that delight. Most recently Phil was Product Marketing Director at Arkessa (IoT SaaS platform) and Senior Product Marketing Manager at Mentor Graphics (embedded software product). Phil co-founded Octymo, a Cambridge start up focused on licensing a mobile phone applications platform. Phil brings extensive global experience including living in Asia where, for TTPCom and Motorola, he built and led a pan-Asian division to service multi-million dollar contracts.

Nick Koiza - Head of Security Business, Plextek

Nick heads up Plextek's business in the security market and has a long and successful track record across global security and public safety sectors, where he has developed a strong reputation as a leading authority in secure critical communications. He has held senior management positions in public and private companies spanning IT, technology and communications, and has also co-founded and managed Cambridge-based businesses. He began his career with the European Space Agency in Germany where he acted as a member of the Mission Control Team for a spacecraft launched aboard NASA's Space Shuttle. A Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Nick holds a Diploma from the University of Cambridge and MSc and BSc honours degrees in Space Science and Computer Science, respectively.

Derek Long - Head of Telecoms & Mobile, Cambridge Consultants

As head of telecoms and mobile at Cambridge Consultants, Derek leads the company’s collaboration within the sector. Central to Derek’s role at Cambridge Consultants is helping create breakthrough innovation that transforms the delivery of high-performance communication for their partners; from mobile carriers and ISPs, to vendors and component manufacturers. With over 20 years’ experience in mobile technology, Derek has held a range of multinational senior management roles and has a wealth of expertise across all generations of mobile and broadband technology, including LTE-A and 5G. Derek holds a PhD in telecommunications from the University of Bristol.

Tim Phipps - Technical Marketing Manager, Solarflare

Tim sees Cambridge Wireless as a way to build the network of relationships that drive business growth and a better society for us all. As Technical Marketing Manager at Solarflare, Tim works to conceive and realise the components that will make the internet faster, secure and more reliable. He has worked on technologies from their earliest beginnings to mass market adoption, including WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular from GSM to LTE. His experience includes working as a development engineer, project management, business development and product marketing.

Event Location

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Location info

Olswang LLP, 90 High Holborn, Greater London WC1V 6XX

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