BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - Attendees at this year’s Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Technology Forum in Broken Arrow, Okla., can expect to hear a wide-range of quality speakers, including a couple of nationally known and respected industry professionals.
The UAS Tech Forum runs Sept. 12-13 inside the new Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center in Broken Arrow.
Tom McMahon, senior vice president for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics, will help kick things off on Sept. 13 with a keynote speech during the opening plenary.
Also set to provide opening day remarks is retired Air Force Major Gen. James Poss, chief executive officer of intelligence and UAS consulting firm ISR Ideas and former executive director of ASSURE, the FAA’s Center of Excellence for UAS Research.
As AUVSI’s leader on advocacy and government relations, McMahon guides AUVSI on issues that are important to the industry, not just with drones but also other autonomous systems and robotics.
“We are working closely with our members to advocate for provisions in the FAA Reauthorization Bill that will benefit the unmanned aircraft systems industry. Those benefits are primarily looking into developing an unmanned traffic management system, which is currently under way with the FAA and NASA,” McMahon said.
“An unmanned traffic management system is going to play a key role in the further development of the industry and to enable advanced operations like flying over people and beyond visual line of sight,” he said.
Even though the growth of the drone industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years and is expected to continue well into the foreseeable future, McMahon stressed that one of the biggest challenges today for the industry is still educating people who don’t yet know how UAS technologies are going to affect their lives in a more beneficial way.
“There are a lot of ways within the next several years that this technology will be used to benefit society, but there is still a lot of education we need to do as an industry to let people know about this technology and to let them know it is being developed responsibly and safely by people, such as those who will be attending the UAS Tech Forum in Oklahoma and other places all over the nation and, indeed, all over the world,” McMahon said.
Regarded as the anchor event for the Unmanned Aerial Systems Cluster Initiative of Oklahoma and Kansas (UASCI), a program funded through a contract with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Tech Forum attracts a wide array of public and private sector professionals and leaders involved in the unmanned aerial systems industry. Entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, technology transfer professionals, economic development officials and other service providers get together for two days of networking, information sessions, technology presentations and investment opportunities.
Forum participants will have the opportunity to participate in an agenda packed with interesting and thought-provoking sessions featuring industry experts discussing all the hottest topics related to UAS, including weather research, cybersecurity and counter drone efforts, the integration of UAS into the National Air Space, and many others.
In addition, attendees will have access to vetted investment opportunities and will get to connect with the most sought-after industry partners and leaders.
The Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce and the City of Broken Arrow are serving as co-hosts for the 2018 UAS Tech Forum. Lead sponsors of the event include the Tulsa Regional Chamber, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Business Roundtable and Vigilant Aerospace Systems.
For more information about the 2018 UAS Tech Forum, please visit www.uascluster.com.
About the UAS Cluster Initiative
Administered by Development Capital Networks, the Cluster Initiative’s mission is to accelerate the growth of the UAS Industry by enabling established companies and emerging entrepreneurs, in particular those located in Oklahoma and Kansas, to connect, work together and gain access to national technologies, global capital, advanced business models and global markets. It accomplishes this through a variety of activities and events, including webinars, SBIR workshops, roundtable discussions, student UAS competitions, the UAS Tech Forum and other networking opportunities.