Indiana State University to Co-Host Regional Conference Focusing on Unmanned Systems

An upcoming conference will focus on the role that unmanned systems technology will have in the future of national security and emergency response situations.

Indiana State University is co-hosting the second Mid-America Defense Conference in Scottsburg, Ind., on Sept. 18-19. The conference will feature presentations and discussions about the ways that unmanned systems are having a growing impact on fields ranging from national security to agriculture. Richard Baker, director of the Center for Unmanned Systems and Human Capital Development at Indiana State, and Indiana Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Jeff Hauser, who is also an assistant professor of aviation technology at ISU, will be among the speakers at the conference. The National Center for Complex Operations (NCCO) will co-host the conference with Indiana State.

"This is one of the few conferences that specializes in unmanned systems in support of first responders," Baker said. "They're just starting to understand the use of technology in the first responder field because first responders typically don't have large budgets, but now the technology is coming down in cost to where it is becoming affordable for more agencies."

The technology has advanced so quickly that an unmanned aerial system considered advanced when it first arrived on the market two years ago is now available for one-quarter of the price, Baker said.

"First responders want to know what technologies and capabilities are out there to help them when there is a disaster," Baker said. "This technology is changing so rapidly that what they knew a year ago may have completely changed by this year. "

The conference will feature sessions that provide insights on a variety of areas, including a panel that Baker will moderate about academic developments in unmanned systems. Faculty members from Wright State University, Purdue University and the University of North Dakota also will participate in the panel.

"The technology that we use reaches out to a number of different fields," Baker said. "It is multidisciplinary."

For more information about the conference, including to register, visit

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