Thanks to all and it’s a wrap!

Before we start our recap, we’d like to thank all of our attendees, exhibitors and sponsors, particularly our Platinum Sponsor, Peraton, for supporting this year’s conference. It was a learning experience for all of us in this time of COVID, but with the help of technology and you all, we think we’ve all pulled off a very successful conference! 

We began our fourth and final day of this year’s #UC20Remote conference continuing the conversation surrounding markets and applications. 

We kicked off the day with a panel on Integrating RPAS and Airports – which has proven to be a very popular topic this year. Representatives from the Edmonton International Airport, NAV Canada, Transport Canada and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority had a lively and engaging discussion about the challenges airports faced in 2020, including drone incursions, managing the demands on the airside operations, the prospect of upcoming drone deliveries  as well as, not surprisingly,  COVID- 19.

Next up, we saw the 100 Pilots and Counting – Government of Alberta panel, led by Sam Pidwerbeski who did a great job moderating the session, as well as showing us an engaging video of drones used in the release of bears back into the wild. Alberta is clearly a leader in the RPAS space in Canada, with governments and industry working collaboratively to move the technology forward in a variety of applications. 

The Government of Alberta reported that they have 100 Pilots and 62 RPAS involved throughout government departments, including fishery, inspections, energy and resource management, GPR, and much more. Fun fact: the Edmonton International Airport was actually the first airport in Canada to use drones in operations. All in all, a great set of panel presentations and questions showing #Drones4Good. 

The Last Afternoon

  • The afternoon sessions began on a high note with our Annual USC-STC Virtual Awards, recognizing exceptional contributions by Individual and organizational members in the unmanned space. We’ll share all the details in an upcoming post, so look out for that.
  • Our Mining Panel offered an intriguing glimpse into how the world of mining is starting to use autonomous drones underground; Matt MacKinnon told attendees that “ 2021 will be the year for drones underground”, helping to make mining safer by allowing miners to be removed further from the risk of the mining process. The panelists noted that the deliberate lack of regulations on use of drones underground was a big help in exploiting drones in mining applications.
  • The last tracks of the conference offered a range of interesting topics; including the challenges encountered in developing a Counter UAS system in the light of current RPAS regulations, Over the Horizon Secure Communications technologies, and a novel approach towards a TCAS for autonomous UAVs.

With the wrap of the conference on Friday, the USC-STC team had been puzzling how to replace the usual end of conference celebrations with a virtual solution. All attendees were invited to a “Unmanned Uncorked” Zoom session, a virtual pub room to allow them to share experiences, comments, and network to conclude the conference and year! It was well attended and we’ll definitely consider similar events in future conferences.

Thanks to everyone for your participation and collaboration during the past four days of #UC20Remote, until next year!