On-Demand WebinarsAerospace

Advances in Unmanned Aircraft: AI and Autonomy – Threats, Countermeasures, and Opportunities


Adoption of unmanned aircraft technology continues across military and civilian applications. As these vehicles become increasingly autonomous, questions arise about potential security threats, managing communication, and system reliability.

This 60-minute Webinar from the editors of Aerospace & Defense Technology discusses the challenges posed by growing autonomy, new solutions for safe drone operation, and how implementing artificial intelligence (AI) can lead to major advances in unmanned aircraft. Topics covered include:

  • Onboard and ground-based detect-and-avoid solutions that leverage AI for better aircraft detection and collision avoidance
  • AI and computer vision for better decision-making
  • Recent progress in beyond visual line of sight
  • Enhancing trust and resiliency of autonomous teammates for mission-level success
  • Enabling collaborative autonomy
  • Evolving capability of autonomous swarms
  • Maintaining safety, control, and continuity in next-generation, cyber-centric counter-UAS technologies for sensitive environments
  • The emerging drone threat in sensitive environments
  • Shortcomings of traditional, legacy C-UAS solutions
  • The rogue drone incident lifecycle

An audience Q&A follows the technical presentations.


Jason Hardy-Smith, Vice President of Product, Iris Automation

Jason Hardy-Smith is the Vice President of Product for Iris Automation where he leads product strategy, definition, and requirements for the company’s Casia detect-and-avoid portfolio of products. He has more than 20 years of product management experience, defining and driving product strategies and roadmaps in technology industries and owning the end-to-end product lifecycle of successful, first-to-market products for companies including Oracle, Blueroads, Brightidea, Isomorphic Software, and now Iris Automation. Jason began his career as a software developer and holds a bachelor’s degree in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Glasgow.

Jeffrey Starr, Chief Marketing Officer, D-Fend Solutions

Jeffrey Starr serves as the Chief Marketing Officer at D-Fend Solutions. He frequently writes and speaks on C-UAS/counter-drone topics and has been featured in Security Today, Security Magazine, Security Boulevard, Unmanned Airspace, and UAS Magazine, among others. Fast-growing companies in the security, public safety, defense, information, compliance, and risk-management sectors, including AlgoSec, Cellebrite, and Verisk 3E, have employed Jeffrey in CMO and executive roles. He previously served as General Partner at Mission Ventures VC fund and as an Analyst at Booz Allen. He has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Rich Wronski, Vice President, Sensing, Perception, and Applied Robotics Division, Charles River Analytics

Rich Wronski, as Vice President of Sensing, Perception, and Applied Robotics at Charles River Analytics, leads a team of scientists and engineers who are developing a product portfolio that stems from research focused on sensing and perception, both for autonomous robotics and for human physiological assessment. He has more than 30 years of program leadership experience for a wide range of both government and commercial customers including various agencies within both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, as well as numerous international clients. Rich previously served as Director of Custom Products at American Science and Engineering, where he led development of innovative X-ray-based detection systems geared to combat terrorism and trade fraud. He is a graduate of GE’s Edison Engineering Leadership Development Program and holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute as well as an MBA from Babson College.


Amanda Hosey, Editor, SAE Media Group

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