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Expanded C-sUAS Symposium to highlight challenges and opportunities

An autonomous drone hovers during the Air Force’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Pitch Day, July 24, at the Northeastern University Innovation Campus in Burlington, Mass. The demonstration of autonomous drone technology was part of a day dedicated to bringing new and innovative companies into the Air Force to work on detecting, tracking, defeating and controlling drones and drone swarms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

An autonomous drone hovers during the Air Force’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Pitch Day, July 24, at the Northeastern University Innovation Campus in Burlington, Mass. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Force Protection Division at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., along with the Paul Revere Chapter of the Air Force Association, will host a Counter-small Unmanned Aerial Systems Symposium, Oct. 9-10 in Bedford, Mass. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Force Protection Division here, along with Paul Revere Chapter of the Air Force Association, will host the 2nd annual Counter-small Unmanned Aerial Systems Symposium, Oct. 9-10 at the MITRE Corp. facility in Bedford, Massachusetts.

Organizers note that a significant topic of discussion will be the threat that UAS present to the United States and its allies, as illustrated by recent UAS attacks on an oil production facility in Saudi Arabia and numerous other global events in which UAS have been used to carry out attacks.

The symposium has expanded to a two-day event organized around three themes. The first day will address “Operational Challenges” and feature Brig. Gen. Matthew Isler, assistant deputy commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, and assistant vice commander, 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force, as keynote speaker.

Isler’s talk will be followed by a National Air and Space Intelligence Center Threat Brief, a Georgia Tech Research Institute presentation on the “Fly On Characterization Event” its personnel conducted earlier this year on behalf of the Air Force C-sUAS program and an Operational Challenges Panel.

Organizers will host a social and demonstration event that evening at the Kostas Research Institute in Burlington, Mass. Attendees will be able to watch a live, drone racing event put on by the Northeastern University Drone Club in KRI’s 1.8 million cubic-foot outdoor, netted UAS range. They will also have a chance to tour KRI’s state-of-the-art drone testing and research facilities, including the new faraday cage/anechoic chamber.

Archie Stafford from Red 6 Solutions, a “Red Teaming” company that supports the Air Force C-sUAS program office, will kick off day two and the “Emerging Technology” theme with a “Threat Status and Trends” presentation.

Scott Newbern, vice president and chief technology officer for AeroVironment, will follow with the keynote address on Emerging UAS technology Trends. AeroVironment is one of the largest suppliers of small, unmanned aircraft systems to the Pentagon and dozens of allied nations.

Ten select symposium sponsors, including Northrop Grumman, Echodyne, Lockheed Martin, Copius Imaging, Leidos, SAIC, Liteye, Raytheon, Dedrone, and Persistent Systems, will then be afforded the opportunity to highlight their own technology advances in a series of rapid-fire, 15-minute presentations.

Chris O’Donnell, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Platform and Weapon Portfolio Management, will make the pivot to the “Acquisition Challenges” theme with his keynote address. Following, there will be a panel discussion on the same topic featuring representatives from each of the services C-sUAS programs, as well as an industry representative. Steve Wert, program executive officer Digital, will close out the symposium with his “PEO Perspective” presentation.

Attendance for the event is limited by seating capacity, but room is still available. More information on the event and links to sign up are located at: http://www.paulrevereafa.org/csuas-symposium/.