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 event there will 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

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


Registration and networking with refreshments


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


Welcome from our event host, TTP plc


Steve Baker, TTP Plc


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.


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.


Networking Lunch


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.


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


Speaker to be confirmed, Rohde & Schwarz


Refreshment break


Ayan Ghosh, Ofcom


Peter Morton, Tactical Wireless


Closing remarks & Event closes


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

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 - ., Ofcom

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

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

Dr Kieran Wood is a researcher in the Aerospace Engineering department at the University of Bristol directly supporting projects lead by South West Nuclear Robotics Hub. He obtained his M.Eng. degree in Bristol from the Aerospace department in 2009, and then remained to undertake a Ph.D. focusing on the control of indoor micro aerial vehicles. After being awarded his PhD in 2013 he moved into an industry job designing control systems for fly-by-wire helicopters at Agusta-Westland. In 2015 he returned to the University of Bristol becoming a Research Associate with a strong focus on Unmanned Aerial Systems with projects covering sensors, actuation, control systems, and outdoor operations.

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, and then spearheaded Bristol's hosting of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Communications. He currently manages the delivery of the CDT in Communications, leads research in the field of enabling technologies for the delivery of 5G and beyond wireless connectivity, as well as his role as the School Research Impact Director. 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 25 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, Millimetre Wave technologies as well as flexible RF technologies for SDR modems underpins his current research portfolio.

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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