Conference to Focus on Counter-Drone Technology

Attendees listen to a technical presentation during Counter UAS Technology 2021. (Photo by Bruce A. Bennett)

In 2021, SAE Media Group, which publishes this newsletter, launched a new high-level technical conference called Counter UAS Technology devoted to, as the name implies, examining current and future technological countermeasures to ensure that DoD personnel, equipment and infrastructure are protected from the proliferation of drones. The event was so successful in terms of both attendance and the type of information presented that this year's event has been moved to a larger venue and will feature a more diverse lineup of speakers and presentations.

Counter UAS Technology 2022 will kick off on Monday, December 5, with opening remarks from conference chairman Dr. Craig Robin, CEO of EO Solutions, followed by a keynote address given by John Peart and Judson Brant of the Joint Counter-sUAS Office (JCO) that will focus on the importance of developing a holistic C-UAS strategy across the entire DoD and providing C-UAS strategies and solutions across all operating environments.

One of the most anticipated sessions on Day 1 of the conference will be a panel debate on the best ways to protect US homeland security and our borders from the emerging threat of drones. Taking part in the debate will be experts from the FBI, US Border Patrol, US Federal Aviation Administration, Virginia State Police, and Department of Homeland Security. Along those same lines will be a presentation from Bill Haraka, the VP of Defense & Security for Robin Radar Systems on the threat of rogue drones and how best to defend fixed and moving critical assets from malicious UAVs.

For those interested in what other countries are doing in terms of counter-drone technology and strategies, there will be an update given by the UK Ministry of Defense on its current counter-UAS capabilities and future priorities, and a presentation on the Canadian Air Force’s C-UAS efforts and requirements given by the Director General of R&D Innovation for Defence Research and Development Canada, a special operating agency of the Department of National Defence.

Day 2 will kick off much like the first day with a keynote address from Lieutenant Colonel Adam M. Miller, who will discuss, among other things, the role played by the RCCTO (Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office) in the US DoD’s Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Strategy, plans for acquiring new and emerging High Energy Laser (HEL) C-sUAS technologies to support US DoD Counter UAS objectives, and how existing resources can be applied more efficiently in the military's C-sUAS effort.

In concert with the keynote address, Day 2 features a decidedly military theme with presentations on expanding the us Army’s air & missile defense capabilities in the C-UAS arena, leveraging terrestrial sensors to defeat enemy UAS, protecting USMC assets and troops from UAS threats, and researching and developing next-generation kinetic C-UAS capabilities to support US Army Futures Command’s modernization efforts. Also taking place on Day 2 will be another panel debate, this one focused on how much collaboration and cooperation will be required among countries to ensure European C-UAS protection. Taking part in the debate will be representatives from NATO, the UK Ministry of Defence, Germany's Federal Ministry of Defense, the Royal Netherlands Air Force, and the Belgian Armed Forces.

Based on the success of last year's inaugural event, this year's conference, which will take place on December 5 and 6, has been moved to a larger venue, the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.