SMi’s Unmanned Systems conference will examine the latest programmes, plans, procedures and operational insights. Bringing together key senior policy and decision makers from around the globe. Don’t miss the opportunity to network and share with some of the worlds leading unmanned systems experts. 

Unmanned systems continue to offer real advantages in a variety of sectors. On the military side the scope for integration is being explored at all levels and they remain at the forefront of new innovation and design potential. Whilst in the civil domain continued advancements in technology are increasing practical use all the time.

Don't miss this years Unmanned Systems conference where you will hear updates from international Ministries of Defence, nations and agencies. They will share with you the most up-to-date review of their ground, air, maritime and space unmanned systems policies

  • Assess the new USAF UAS flight plan -  Understand the new strategy for the future of military UAS aviation
  • Examine the latest Information Surveillance and Reconnaissance capabilities. Including presentations from the Swiss Border Guard and Romanian Ministry of Defence
  • Hear an update on the latest UUV and USV operations from the NATO Underwater Research Centre
  • Evaluate tactical experiences from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Including a special Keynote Address from JIEDDO on their use of UGV in the field
  • Discuss new technologies and future systems designs
  • Analyse the growing importance of unmanned systems in use for space exploration

For more information please contact Nicolas Pianet on +44 (0)207 827 6728

  • Unmanned Systems Project Managers
  • Unmanned Systems Programme Lead
  • Marketing Director/Manager Unmanned Systems
  • Unmanned Systems Business Development Managers
  • Unmanned Systems Research and Development Officers
  • International Ministries of Defence
  • International Border Police
  • Civil Responders
  • First Responders

Conference programme

8:30 Registration & Coffee

9:00 Chairman's Opening Remarks

Wing Commander (Ret'd) Andrew Brookes

Wing Commander (Ret'd) Andrew Brookes, Aerospace Analyst, The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), UK


Colonel James

Colonel James "Box" Gear , Deputy Director for Operations, AF UAS Task Force

  • USAF UAS mission
  • New USAF UAS Flight Plan
  • Update of activities in the last year
  • lessons learned and challenges ahead
  • Vision and future
  • 9:50 The Use of Mini Air Craft Vehicles for Operations in Afghanistan

    Rob Keur

    Rob Keur, Deputy Chief, Flight Safety Management, Royal Netherland Army Command

  • Using Mini Air Craft Vehicles to support troops in Afghanistan
  • Assessing the operational capabilities
  • Successes in the field
  • Where to the challenges lie?
  • The next step
  • 10:30 Morning Coffee

    11:00 Update of Operations at the NATO Underwater Research Centre

    Lieutenant Commander Rob Cornick

    Lieutenant Commander Rob Cornick, Programme Officer, Undersea Research Centre, NATO

  • Update of the latest unmanned developments at NURC
  • Current UUV and USV capabilities
  • Assessing the lessons learned based on practical experiences
  • Information sharing amongst NATO nations
  • Next step for unmanned underwater systems
  • 11:40 Remotec and UGVs for Bomb Disposal

    Kevin Rooney

    Kevin Rooney, Director, Northrop Gruman

  • Design potential and ability of EOD UGVs
  • Exploring the CUTLASS UGVs design features
  • Control of multiple UGVs
  • 12:20 Networking Lunch

    13:50 Understanding Autonomous Robots

    Kevin Warwick

    Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics, University Of Reading, UK

  • Sense and avoid technology
  • Intelligence and autonomy
  • Robot systems with biological brains
  • Remote neural control of technology - Using implants!
  • Future systems evolution
  • 14:30 European Earth Observation Activities from Space

    Thomas Beer

    Thomas Beer, Security Expert, European Space Agency

  • GMES status
  • GMES security aspects
  • US-Europe cooperation
  • Next programme steps at European level
  • 15:10 Moving Towards 24/7/365 Aerial Capabilities

    Ed Herlik

    Ed Herlik, Analyst, Homeland Security Research Corporation, USA

  • Programme review and the latest developments
  • Stratospheric long-endurance UAS
  • Trial and error - How long before 24/7/365 surveillance?
  • Assessing the payload requirements
  • Threat to the status quo
  • What does this technology mean for military satellites, both military and civilian?
  • The next step
  • 15:50 Chairman’s Closing Remarks and Close of Day One Followed by Afternoon Tea

    8:30 Registration & Coffee

    9:00 Chairman's Opening Remarks

    Wing Commander (Ret'd) Andrew Brookes

    Wing Commander (Ret'd) Andrew Brookes, Aerospace Analyst, The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), UK

    9:10 The Use of Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS) Raven B in Afghanistan

    Captain Flemming Olstrøm

    Captain Flemming Olstrøm, Fire Support Division, Army Fire Support Centre, Danish Operational Command

  • The use of SUAS in support of company and battle group missions in Afghanistan
  • Why SUAS in the Artillery?
  • Operational environment
  • Challenges encountered
  • Future of SUAS in the Danish Army

    Dr Charles Lind

    Dr Charles Lind, Deputy, Technology and requirements Integration Division, Joint IED Defeat Organization, USA

  • Practical UGV applications used to support battlefield troops
  • Weaponising UGVs – What are the advantages and disadvantages?
  • How does a military commander take full advantage of UGV technology?
  • UGV collision and avoidance capabilities in an urban environment
  • Multiple payload requirements
  • Assessing the importance of training
  • 10:30 Morning Coffee

    11:00 UAV - The Border Plane

  • Surveillance of unmanned borders – Why UAVs?
  • Advanced payloads – Real time detection of movement
  • Lessons learned from practical experiences
  • Building blocks for future surveillance capabilities?
  • Brigadier General Juerg Noth

    Brigadier General Juerg Noth, Chief of Border Guard Corps, Swiss Border Corps

    11:40 Emerging ISR Applications Using UUVs and USVs

  • A new dimension for ISR operations - Surveillance plus response
  • Lessons learned from practical and operational experiences
  • Developments in sensors, communications and system autonomy
  • Future developments for UUV and USV ISR capabilities
  • Tom Pastore

    Tom Pastore, Senior Scientist, Undersea Research Centre, NATO

    12:20 Networking Lunch

    13:30 Micro Air Vehicles – The Spy Drone

    Mircea Boscoianu

    Mircea Boscoianu, Prof univ (and LTC- aviation) in MTA Bucharest,, Ministry of Defence, Romania

  • New design and potential for emerging ISR missions
  • MAV collision avoidance capability in an urban environment - Required capabilities characteristics
  • Selection/implementation of MAV capabilities
  • Economics and logistics
  • Lessons learned - Challenges and new criteria for the systems concept and further development needs
  • The way forward
  • 14:10 Integrating UAVs into Non-Segregated Civil Airspace

  • CAA approach to unmanned aircraft systems
  • Sense and avoid
  • UAV classifications for regulatory purposes and the CAA’s response
  • Safety and public perception implications
  • Are we moving towards total integration?
  • Lieutenant Commander Gerry Corbett

    Lieutenant Commander Gerry Corbett, Directorate of Airspace Policy, Civil Aviation Authority, UK

    Cliff  Whittaker

    Cliff Whittaker, Manager - Policy, Safety Regulation Group Airworthiness Division, Civil Aviation Authority

    15:00 Chairman’s Closing Remarks and Close of Conference Followed by Afternoon Tea


    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, SMI 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@smi-online.co.uk

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