Internship | AI in Counter-UAS: threat assessment & decision support

Will you help safeguard civilians, police and armed forces by using AI to create a predictive classification model to estimate the threat and suggest an optimal weapon assignment for countering UAS?


Den Haag

Education type

university (wo)


Internship and graduation project

Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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What will be your role?

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have become one of the paramount security threats in the 21st century. UAS pose a danger to civilians, police organizations and the armed forces alike, albeit in different ways. They can be a gamechanger in the fields of security and conflict, as is shown by the high impact of UAS in recent conflicts.

To counter UAS, a Threat Evaluation and Weapon Assignment (TEWA) process needs to be conducted. The research questions for this project are: Can AI be used to develop a predictive classification model that estimates the threat and an optimal weapon assignment of a UAS given its observed characteristics and the context and physical environment in which it is flying? Which UAS characteristics are critical in determining whether a UAS is a threat or not, also dependent on the context and physical environment?

Key components for this study are:
  • Combining context and environmental information with UTM (unmanned traffic management) information to provide effective features and or indicators that can provide valuable information for the model (feature engineering).
  • A carefully developed validation process that can provide a model that generalizes well to unseen data.
  • A transparent model that can provide information about the UAS characteristics that are critical for the classification.
Relevant sensor information about the UAS are: location of the UASs relative to a vulnerable person or object, flight pattern, presence of payload, size or type of UASs, UAS speed, number of UASs, presence of an up/downlink, location of UAS pilot, presence of a flight plan in the UTM system. The context information are military (collective defense (article 5), Counter Terror, Crisis Response, Persistent engagement, Security / Policing), National Police (type of event, presence of vulnerable persons or objects, presence of a no-fly-zone or not), physical location (urban centre, woods, above a base in a Peacekeeping area). Physical environmental information (city, rural area) will also be used.

How do you want to contribute to tomorrow's world? How big can your impact be? Come and work at TNO and envision it.

What we expect from you

You are a (University-level) post-graduate (MSc) student with a background in preferably each of the following: artificial intelligence, data science and econometrics. The duration of the internship is expected to be between 6 and 9 months and therefore ideally suited for a thesis project.

What you’ll get in return

You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.

The selection process

After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the concerning department. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement. If you have any questions about this vacancy, you can contact the contact person mentioned below.

For this internship vacancy it is required that the AIVD issues a security clearance (VGB) after conducting a security screening. Take into account that this process may take about 8 weeks. If you have been abroad for more than 6 consecutive months, or if you do not have the Dutch nationality, it may take longer. Please visit for more information the AIVD website.

Due to Covid-19 and the consequent uncertainties and restrictions, students who are not residing in the Netherlands may currently not be able to start an internship or graduation project at TNO.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.

Contact: Lotte Konings
Phone number: +31 (0)88-86 62259

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


Apply now