Unmanned Air Vehicles (Drones) Past, Present & Future

An online talk, using Zoom, by Philip Benstead

The talk starts with defining what we mean by a drone, followed by examples from history and the key enablers that have led to today’s explosion in the use of un-crewed vehicles.

The debacle at Gatwick Airport in December 2018 is described with evidence why it was eminently predicable and preventable. Examples of civil and military operations are covered, then how drones complement ‘Smart Cities’ finishing with a peek into the future using data from current research projects.

Philip Benstead has worked in design and implementation of the ground based elements of the aerospace industry for over 55 years. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and Associate of the Royal Institute of Navigation.

One of Philip’s specialities is surveillance and some years ago he was asked to verify if the radar signature of ‘drones’ could be used to differentiate them from birds, swarms of insects etc. To do this, he captured data on hundreds of different types of ‘drones’ and studied the construction and flight characteristics of the most relevant.

Duration: Approximately 60 mins + time for Q&A

February 2021
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