Talk to the eye in the sky

Brought to you by The Radio Technology Group

At this event you will be shown how to optimise the radio link with drones and gain a full understanding of the key technological challenges for drone communications.

About the event

Drones are expected to be a key element of the next industrial revolution. Already commonplace in agriculture for crop monitoring and pesticide spraying, drones are now finding new applications ranging from infrastructure monitoring and risk reduction for the oil and gas sector, to inspection of long linear assets like power lines. There is a huge surge in demand for high quality drone data. At the same time, regulatory frameworks are becoming more relaxed on beyond visual line of sight operations (BVLOS). 

Drone communications and understanding how to optimise the radio link are key to drone performance. At this event, you will learn ways to address key technological challenges such as:

  • Drone payloads and battery
  • Optimising size and weight
  • Lightweight multiprotocol modems and antennas
  • Drone mesh networks
  • Detect and avoidance mechanisms

Starting at 10:30 this event is kindly hosted at the offices of TTP, Melbourn. As with all CW events there will be ample opportunities to network and debate the themes of the day.

Employees of CW member organisations can attend this event for free. You will need to be logged into your CW account to access your free ticket – log in (or reset your password here)

Tickets for non-members are £150 plus VAT. CW membership may be more cost effective for your organisation than fully priced tickets – find out more about CW membership benefits.

LIMITED FREE PLACES AVAILABLE for non-members who are under 35. For further information and to claim a free place please contact clare.kettle@cambridgewireless.co.uk

You can follow @CambWireless on Twitter and tweet about this event using #RadioTech.

Kindly sponsored by TTP plc

TTP is an independent technology company where scientists and engineers collaborate to invent, design and develop new products and technologies.

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Agenda

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

10:30

Registration and networking with refreshments

11:00

Introduction to CW from Simon Mead, CEO, CW (Cambridge Wireless)

11:05

Welcome from our event host, TTP plc

11:10

Steve Baker, TTP Plc

‘When will the drones deliver my dinner?’

How do we unlock the full potential of drones? What are the technology enablers that can bring about true autonomy, and are we there yet? In this talk, Steve will be introducing the commercial and technological scene for the future of drone-enabled automation.

11:40

Ben Allen, Senior Innovation Eng. and Paul Lindup, Drone Manager, Network Rail

'Drones, 5G and the Rail Environment: Battle Ready for BVLOS'

Ben and Paul will present their vision and use cases for drone usage in the rail environment. This will encompass examples of today’s usage and future plans including: “Beyond Visual Line Of Sight” operation challenges; opportunities; technology needs and developments.

12:10

Mark Radford, Co-Founder and CTO, Blighter Surveillance Systems Ltd

'Those Pesky Rogue Drones'

We all hear occasional news stories about the misuse of drones, and there are bold claims for technology to control them but what’s the reality? This presentation will consider current issues and state-of-art for drone detection and identification by radar.

12:40

Networking Lunch

13:30

Dr Alex Georgiades, Autonomous Systems Specialist, Innovation Hub, Civil Aviation Authority

'Beyond Visual Line Of Sight operations: Regulatory Challenges and the road ahead'

An overview of the technical, operational, and regulatory barriers to routine BVLOS operations, and how such operations can be unlocked. The presentation will also introduce the CAA’s newly-formed Innovation Hub and its role in bringing these types of operation closer to reality.

14:00

Dr Kieran Wood, Senior Research Associate, Aerospace Engineering, University of Bristol

'Radiation Mapping with UAVs in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone'

A review of the Unoccupied Aerial Systems (UAS) being developed for the nuclear industry with a focus on field-work performed within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Long range aerial surveys could be an essential tool for both regular monitoring, and disaster response, in areas contaminated with nuclear waste.

14:30

Ayan Ghosh, Technology Consultant, Ofcom

'Aerial Connectivity- The Regulator’s role'

15:00

Refreshment break

15:30

Peter Morton, Tactical Wireless

'Real-time, remote ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys using drones.'

16:00

Panel Session with all speakers, Chaired by SIG Champion Dr Vidhya Sridhar, TTP

16:20

Closing remarks & Event closes

Speakers

Ben Allen - Senior Innovation Eng., Network Rail Telecom

Dr Ben Allen is a Royal Society Industry Fellow and Senior Innovation Engineer with Network Rail Telecom. He has around 20 years’ experience in telecoms R&D spanning the public, private and academic sectors. He has authored or co-authored a large number of papers and several books. His current activities include: pioneering a novel super-high data rate wireless backhaul technology; and leading the UK in an international collaboration developing an adaptive communication system for railways.

Steve Baker - Business Development Manager, TTP plc

Steve is an electronic engineer by training. His work has spanned software defined radio for test instrumentation, a decade-and-more of cellular handset technologies, IoT services, and satellite communications. Across a variety of technical and commercial roles he has delivered hardware, software and service propositions. At TTP, Steve works within the wireless group, providing business development, consulting and project management primarily in the areas of connected devices and services. When not at TTP, Steve is likely to be found either refining his sourdough technique (with a knowing nod to the nominative determinism), running off the sourdough-derived carbs or twanging his recently acquired double bass.

Alex Georgiades - Autonomous Systems Specialist, Civil Aviation Authority

Alex has been working at the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) since early 2019 as the Autonomous Systems Specialist of the organisation and one of the case officers of the Innovation Hub. He is primarily responsible for providing technical expertise on matters such as Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems. Furthermore, he is collaborating with innovators to safely trial novel solutions aiming at modernising the aviation and aerospace industries; with a particular emphasis on autonomous drones and beyond visual line of sight operations. Alex obtained his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Cranfield University while working at Airbus, after which he joined the University of Bristol as a postdoctoral research associate in aerial field robotics.

Ayan Ghosh - Technology Consultant, Ofcom

Ayan Ghosh is a Technology Consultant in Ofcom where he leads innovative 5G trials and Ofcom’s collaboration with CAA and DFT. Ayan has spent 17 years in the Telecoms industry having consulted for vendors like Motorola and Nokia, operators like EE/BT and system Integrators like Cellular Design Services/Red-M. Known in the industry as EE’s “Droneman”, he invented Airmast - a Disaster Recovery and Rural Coverage solution using drones and Helikites for which he won international awards. Ayan co-authored an IEEE 5G paper on in-cabin system along with Airbus and Ericsson for the airline industry. He was instrumental in rolling out the first 4G network in UK.  Ayan has also introduced companies like Unmanned Life, UVue and Voltserver to the Telecom industry in the UK. Ayan holds a Masters Degree in Computing Science from UMIST and a Bachelors Degree in IT. In his spare time he plays cricket for his local village club and rides his motorcycle in the Cotswold.

Paul Lindup - Drone Manager, Network Rail Telecom

Paul is the Drone Manager for Network Rail. He manages 49 drone pilots with a fleet of in-house drones. He also manages the framework of companies that fly for Network Rail data gathering for projects. Paul has worked for Network Rails Air Operations team now for nearly two years. He has run his own commercial Drone business for the last five years and prior to Network Rail was a Police Drone Pilot, Drone Trainer within Essex Police and was a Police Observer on the Force Helicopter. Prior to the Police Paul was in the Army Air Corps employed within various roles. Flying has been in his blood since he was 13 years old.

Peter Morton - MD and Director, Tactical Wireless

Peter Morton is a chemical engineer with board-level, international experience in a range of industries, including speciality chemicals, building materials, mining, port operations, maritime security and remote communications. Today he is Chairman and CEO of Tactical Wireless Ltd, a system integrator that combines smart routing with data processing, to optimise remote communications performance in a number of market sectors.

Mark Radford - Co-Founder and CTO, Blighter Surveillance Systems Ltd

Mark Radford is the technical Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Blighter Surveillance Systems Ltd.

Mark has worked in the radar industry since 1985, initially as a designer of high-performance signal processing solutions for naval radar systems and later as a system designer and development manager. Since moving to Cambridge, UK, in 2000, Mark has been involved in various radar development projects including the specification, design and development of the Blighter radar, a unique electronic-scanning FMCW Doppler surveillance radar for the detection of people, cars, boats and more recently, small hoby drones.

Since his appointment as CEO of Blighter Surveillance Systems in 2013, Mark has overseen developments of the Blighter technology to enhance it for use in more complex environments such as airports and shorelines. In 2014, Mark devised the AUDS (Anti-UAV Defence System) solution, a collaboration with other UK SMEs to detect and defeat drones.

Mark headed the spin-out of Blighter Surveillance Systems Ltd. from its parent company Plextek Ltd. in 2015 to enable rapid business growth and in March 2019 resumed his technology leadership position for Blighter by appointment to ‘Co-Founder and CTO’.

Kieran Wood - Senior Research Associate, University of Bristol

Kieran Wood is an aeronautical engineer at the University of Bristol working within the Flight Laboratory research group. Currently funded by the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics programme (NCNR, UK), his research focuses on aerial-robotic systems for environmental monitoring with goals of improving flight characteristics of 'drones' in adverse weather conditions, and refining sensor integration and post processing methods. He has built and operated both long-range fixed-wing aircraft, and shorter range multi-rotors, for surveying in locations too remote and/or dangerous for human presence (for example nuclear disaster sites and volcanic summits) at multiple sites worldwide. www.ncnr.org.uk

SIG Champions

Mark Beach - Professor of Radio Systems Engineering , University of Bristol (Communication Systems & Networks Research Group)

Mark Beach received his PhD for research addressing the application of Smart Antenna techniques to GPS from the University of Bristol in 1989, where he subsequently joined as a member of academic staff. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1996, Reader in 1998 and Professor in 2003. He was Head of the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering from 2006 to 2010, then spearheaded Bristol’s hosting of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Communications . He is the Co-Director of this centre. He leads research in the field of enabling technologies for the delivery of 5G and beyond wireless connectivity; which includes the recent award of an EPSRC Prosperity Partnership in the field of Secure Wireless Agile Networks (SWAN). Mark’s current research activities are delivered through the Communication Systems and Networks Group, forming a key component within Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab. He has over 30 years of physical layer wireless research embracing the application of Spread Spectrum technology for cellular systems, adaptive or smart antenna for capacity and range extension in wireless networks, MIMO aided connectivity for through-put enhancement, experimental evaluation and optimization of Massive MIMO, Millimetre Wave technologies as well as flexible RF technologies for SDR modems. With a strong industrially focused research portfolio, he is also the School Research Impact Director. 

Brian Collins - Managing Consultant, BSC Associates

Brian has designed antennas for applications including radio and TV broadcasting, base stations, handsets and consumer products, and has operated his own consultancy firm for the last 12 years. He has published more than 70 papers on antenna topics and contributed chapters to several recent textbooks. He operates a small consultancy company, chairs the Antenna Interface Standards Group and is an Honorary Visiting Professor in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London.

Peter Relph - Consultant, PA Consulting Group

Peter Relph has worked in the wireless industry for 30 years and spent the last 22 years as a radio systems engineer with PA Consulting Group. He originally graduated from UCL in Electronics with Optoelectronics and since then has decreased his operating frequency, working on mm-wave radar systems at Philips Research, then a broad range of industries and applications with PA. His recent focus has been on cellular systems wider experience with satellite, Wifi, modern IoT and bespoke communications systems. Professional interests range from propagation modelling, RF system design and physical layer processing.

Vidhya Sridhar - Consultant, TTP plc

Vidhya Sridhar is a consultant at The Technology Partnership (TTP) Plc. She has a background in digital signal processing and physical layer design and development. In her PhD at Imperial College London, she carried out research on array signal processing techniques with applications in 5G and defence. Prior to her PhD, she spent three years working on physical layer design and development in LTE and WiMAX at Broadcom (India) and Alcatel Lucent (India) respectively.

Peter Topham - Principal Engineer, Qualcomm Technologies International

Peter has more than 30 years experience of RF and high-speed circuit design, taking chips into production ranging from FM Band II through cellular, Bluetooth and on to UWB at 10GHz. He has been with Qualcomm for 7 years, specialising in low-power RF design for portable and wearable products.

Event Location

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Location info

TTP, Melbourn Science Park, Melbourn, SG8 6EE

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