One-day conference convenes experts to discuss autonomous systems technology

Lexington Park, MD – It’s hard to ignore the buzz about how advances with autonomous capabilities are extending the limits of human capability – right down to our daily lives. Bringing together leaders, decision-makers, and subject-matter experts from government, industry, and academia, The Patuxent Partnership is hosting a one-day conference designed to address the major issues in autonomous systems technology, “Is Autonomy the New Cyber?”

The program will be held March 21 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center. The program will be immediately followed by a demonstration at the University of Maryland Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Site, next door to the SMHEC at the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport complex.

Registration is open online through March 19; walk-in registrations will be accepted as space is available. Members of The Patuxent Partnership are eligible for a discounted registration rate. Federal civil service employees and active duty military may attend at no cost.

“Is Autonomy the New Cyber?” will host distinguished panelists and speakers, including military leaders, industry CEOs, academic researchers, systems developers, and testers. Featured speakers include Shawn Turskey, executive director for U.S. Cyber Command; Rear Adm. Mark Darrah, program executive officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland; Dr. Stephen Balakirsky, senior research scientist for Georgia Tech Research Institute Aerospace, Transportation and Advanced Systems Laboratory; and Matt Scassero, director of the University of Maryland UAS Test Site in California, Maryland.

Speaker and panel topics include the following:

  • Advancing autonomous capabilities in the cyber and artificial intelligence domains
  • Strategic Navy/Marine Corps autonomous capabilities
  • Leveraging autonomous capabilities for warfighter combat superiority
  • Collaborative autonomy
  • Real-life experiences in the small unmanned air vehicle market

A reception will follow for registered attendees, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors.

The lead sponsor for the program is Naval Systems, Inc., a veteran-owned small business headquartered in Lexington Park, Maryland.

Exhibitors include Adams Communication & Engineering Technology, Inc., Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and SURVICE Engineering Company. Additional sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available.

For more information and to register for the conference, please visit

Questions may be directed to Jen Brown, programs and membership director, at, (301) 866-1739 x318.