Apply to speak at UDT 2022

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Share your expertise with the undersea defence community

Authors are encouraged to submit papers for UDT 2022 that advance the understanding of those engaged in the undersea defence and security community in its broadest sense. Papers that explore the conference theme will be particularly welcomed.

Submission deadline: 21 January 2022


Who will be reviewing your submissions?

Meet the UDT committee and find out more about them.

If you have any queries about submitting a paper for consideration, please contact our team.

Looking to stand out from the crowd? Download our top tips for writing a strong topic title.


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UDT 2022 Theme

The Grey Zone: Undersea Technologies to Protect Maritime Trade, Operations & Infrastructure

In the post-Afghanistan and Iraq operational era, UDT 2022 offers an opportunity to explore another aspect of underwater defence and security that is of increasing importance to navies and governments worldwide: the grey zone. 

An increasing number of ‘events’ have occurred in the space between political diplomacy and war. The grey zone’s complexity, ambiguity and importance has been widely recognised by military planners and governments.  Populations, industries and wealth continue growing their dependence on sea lanes of communication, offshore industries, and seabed infrastructure.  Given our ability to monitor much of the activity in space, on the earth’s surface and airspace, the undersea provides a significant opportunity for those wishing to conduct grey zone operations.

We have already witnessed grey zone type operations and, in most cases, they are well thought-out, use off the shelf technologies (drones etc) and are plausibly deniable at a governmental level.  If planned and executed well, these attacks can avoid categorical attribution whilst also avoiding a substantial military reprisal, and yet can potentially contribute significantly to the long-term strategic goals of the aggressor. While clearly a navigational incident, the blocking of the Suez Canal serves to illustrate the vulnerability of our seaways.

The Undersea Challenge

The undersea already demands the most of our equipment, tactics and decision making.  In grey zone operations the use of irregular forces, novel tactics, and equipment combine with complex oceanographic conditions to challenge conventional systems and our ability to control areas of the undersea.  Being able to provide clear evidence and to accurately clarify events is key to winning in the grey zone. 

New techniques using big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and others, potentially offer a greater tactical, political and operational advantage.  Without developing existing systems and exploiting emerging relevant core technologies quickly, we could see that many ‘traditional’ techniques for detection, classification, tracking, and defence, that deliver success today may be unhelpful or obsolete in the near term.  Without understanding the challenges and the multitude of new and promising technologies associated with grey zone operations, nations may find themselves at a substantial disadvantage and vulnerable.

Application requirements >

Application requirements >

Ahead of each conference, the UDT technical planning committee welcomes papers and panel proposal abstracts exploring these themes from military, civil, academia and government personnel.

Authors are required to identify which of the conference pillars their paper addresses. These are used to help the committee understand the authors' perspective in order to build a coherent agenda.

To submit a paper, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Abstract title
  • Paper summary
  • Top take away points for audience members
  • Speaker biography 

Looking to stand out from the crowd? Download our top tips for writing a strong topic title.

The Chatham House Rule

"When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed."

The Chatham House Rule is not in effect by default. Speakers retain the right, however, to invoke it at the beginning of their presentation whereupon it will last for the duration of that presentation only.

At no point is recording equipment of any kind permitted to be used in any conference room. This includes filming and audio recording. Photos are permitted provided there is no flash.

Graduate engagement

UDT is seeking to encourage postgraduate researchers and junior professionals in the military and industry to be a part of UDT 2022 in Rotterdam. We are actively working with universities and agencies to encourage those starting out their engagement with the underwater defence community to come and take part in UDT 2022.

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