Jon Spencer

Communications and Networks are fundamental enablers to military capability. This talk will explain some of the fundamental threats and technical challenges faced when delivering communications and networks capability for military operations. UK Ministry of Defence has recently announced a significant investment in communications and networks research to address these challenges and an overview of that programme will be presented along with opportunities to contribute. Access to appropriate signal processing techniques is essential to this and the talk will discuss some of the signal processing challenges to enable covert and overt communications.


Jon is the Chief Communications and Networks Scientist at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), part of the UK Ministry of Defence. Jon leads the delivery of communications research spanning all military domains from subsea to space, focusing on development of next-generation and generation-after-next resilient systems to enable information driven operations in the most challenging environments.

As lead scientist for the Communications and Networks programme Jon coordinates research to develop and demonstrate the advanced concepts that will enable Information Advantage in the contested environments of the future.  Working with allies and partners from UK industry and academia we are investing in research both to bring forward the military capabilities essential for future operations and to stimulate the development of skills and facilities in the supply chain.

The work is wide ranging. It stretches from fundamental physical research into the propagation environment; maturing novel communications concepts such as Quantum communications; developing new ideas for networking in very congested and dynamic environments through to developing the architectures needed to enable rapid integration and adaptation.

Jon has been active in the development of tactical communications and networking capabilities for 25 years, both in government research and in industry where he led a number of successful product developments. Jon is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics.