This workshop will be an exploration of the impact of accessing airborne ISR for the Land Environment User, whether Dismounted or Mounted.

This session will explore the impact on doctrine and the new capabilities that may arise from technological advances that allow the greater exploitation of ISR product at the tactical edge.

Help us to explore the impact of Airborne ISR when coupled with the impact of changing communications systems in the Land Environment. We will explore how airborne ISR could be exploited in the age of enhanced soldier systems.

This workshop will provide a comprehensive overview of how airborne assets are being exploited to shape the commanders understanding of the battlespace. Analysing key telemetry and communication technologies and referencing a repertoire of case studies – this workshop will provide a coalface examination of new technologies and their impact on land operations.

With an extensive background within both military research (Dstl) and the private sector, Mr Simon Ballantyne is an expert on the integration of complex systems – bringing together hardware, software and communications in high risk environments and mission critical scenario’s. This workshop represents a key learning opportunity for anyone engaged in the ISR domain.

Workshop LEADER


Simon Ballantyne

Founder, Director, Xi Systems Consultancy Ltd

I am a passionate technologist and can provide a subject matter opinion on the development of technology or how it can be employed in new & exciting ways. I have provided SME guidance to UK MoD procurement and Army Command elements, distilling complex technological concepts and developments into information for decision support.

Through Xi Systems Ltd I have made an impact on a wide variety of projects including live experimentation into the tactical engagement of Unmanned Ground Vehicles, Air-to-Air Refuelling, Connected Vehicle Services and Soldier C4ISR Modernisation.

Xi Systems Consultancy Ltd


Born from our experience in the defence and security market, we have designed communications networks and complex surveillance systems that can be deployed in varied, extreme, and austere situations.

We bring technology and knowledge together to deliver physical and cyber protection to people and assets, whether they are in a war zone, high risk industrial environments, or an SME in a quiet leafy suburb.


Workshop programme

13:00 Registration & Informal Meeting

13:30 Bringing Airborne ISR to the Tactical Edge

Simon Ballantyne

Simon Ballantyne, Founder, Director, Xi Systems Consultancy Ltd
View Bio

  • Novel capability development – exploiting new systems such as VHF voice, WiMAX, 3GPP and UHF MANET for communication and telemetry from airborne assets
  • Overcoming BLOS (beyond line of sight) data relay technical challenges for airborne platforms to provide the battlefield commander a holistic view of the battlespace
  • Case study: technology analysis for the distribution of ISR for planning scenario’s such as disaster relief
  • 15:15 Afternoon Tea

    15:40 Exploiting Tactical Edge Network Services

    Simon Ballantyne

    Simon Ballantyne, Founder, Director, Xi Systems Consultancy Ltd
    View Bio

  • The impact of novel UAV technologies on the emerging unmanned and autonomous space – how unmanned ‘eyes in the sky’ are changing data collection patterns and keeping servicemen out of harm’s way
  • Networking aerial intelligence into the wider operational picture – building an adaptive dispersed force of the future
  • How the next generation of Airborne ISR feeds into wider soldier modernisation efforts across NATO allies
  • 17:45 Closing Remarks


    Copthorne Tara Hotel

    Scarsdale Place
    London W8 5SR
    United Kingdom

    Copthorne Tara Hotel

    The Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington is an elegant contemporary four-star hotel in prestigious Kensington, located just a two minutes walk from High Street Kensington underground station, making exploring easy. The hotel offers well-appointed and comfortable guest rooms combining Standard, Superior and Club accommodation. Club rooms offer iconic views over the city and include Club Lounge access for complimentary breakfast and refreshments. Guests can sample the authentic Singaporean, Malaysian and Chinese cuisine at Bugis Street, traditional pub fare at the Brasserie Restaurant & Bar or relax with a delicious drink at West8 Cocktail Lounge & Bar.

    The Copthorne Tara Hotel boasts 745 square meters of flexible meeting space, consisting of the Shannon Suite and the Liffey Suite, ideal for hosting conferences, weddings and social events. Facilities include access to the business centre 24 hours a day, fully equipped fitness room, gift shop, theatre desk and Bureau de Change. With ample onsite parking outside the London congestion charge zone and excellent transport links via Heathrow Airport, the hotel is the perfect location for business or leisure stays. The hotel is within close proximity to the shops of High Street Kensington, Knightsbridge and Westfield London, Olympia Conference Centre, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Palace and Hyde Park.




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    CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development’. It is essentially a philosophy, which maintains that in order to be effective, learning should be organised and structured. The most common definition is:

    ‘A commitment to structured skills and knowledge enhancement for Personal or Professional competence’

    CPD is a common requirement of individual membership with professional bodies and Institutes. Increasingly, employers also expect their staff to undertake regular CPD activities.

    Undertaken over a period of time, CPD ensures that educational qualifications do not become obsolete, and allows for best practice and professional standards to be upheld.

    CPD can be undertaken through a variety of learning activities including instructor led training courses, seminars and conferences, e:learning modules or structured reading.


    There are approximately 470 institutes in the UK across all industry sectors, with a collective membership of circa 4 million professionals, and they all expect their members to undertake CPD.

    For some institutes undertaking CPD is mandatory e.g. accountancy and law, and linked to a licence to practice, for others it’s obligatory. By ensuring that their members undertake CPD, the professional bodies seek to ensure that professional standards, legislative awareness and ethical practices are maintained.

    CPD Schemes often run over the period of a year and the institutes generally provide online tools for their members to record and reflect on their CPD activities.


    Professional bodies and Institutes CPD schemes are either structured as ‘Input’ or ‘Output’ based.

    ‘Input’ based schemes list a precise number of CPD hours that individuals must achieve within a given time period. These schemes can also use different ‘currencies’ such as points, merits, units or credits, where an individual must accumulate the number required. These currencies are usually based on time i.e. 1 CPD point = 1 hour of learning.

    ‘Output’ based schemes are learner centred. They require individuals to set learning goals that align to professional competencies, or personal development objectives. These schemes also list different ways to achieve the learning goals e.g. training courses, seminars or e:learning, which enables an individual to complete their CPD through their preferred mode of learning.

    The majority of Input and Output based schemes actively encourage individuals to seek appropriate CPD activities independently.

    As a formal provider of CPD certified activities, SAE Media Group can provide an indication of the learning benefit gained and the typical completion. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the delegate to evaluate their learning, and record it correctly in line with their professional body’s or employers requirements.


    Increasingly, international and emerging markets are ‘professionalising’ their workforces and looking to the UK to benchmark educational standards. The undertaking of CPD is now increasingly expected of any individual employed within today’s global marketplace.

    CPD Certificates

    We can provide a certificate for all our accredited events. To request a CPD certificate for a conference , workshop, master classes you have attended please email events@saemediagroup.com

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