Inside Unmanned Systems

JUN-JUL 2017

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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6 unmanned systems inside June/July 2017 EDITORIAL OPINION Photos courtesy of (Top to Bottom) Prodrone Co., Ltd. , CNH Industrial, TED and YellowScan. W hen will the U.S. ease rules on drone f lights over people? On beyond-visual-line of sight (BVLOS) operations? It seems tan- talizingly close but nobody really knows. The immediate concerns are largely clear. Security-focused agencies are worried allowing drone f lights in more areas—populated areas—without deeper insight into those aircraft and their operators would open risks for which they're unprepared. Our Washington View column (page 26) looks at the tangle of developments surrounding the controversy, including the White House's recently announced push to privatize air traffic control. The General Overview column (page 10) weighs the impact of the secu- rity delays and other sticky wickets including the maze of state and local laws and the (so far) lackluster support for exports. The bottom line, writes Gen. James Poss, is that America risks losing its technological leadership if it can't sort things out and pick up the pace. Just a glance at the reporting in this issue underscores the competitive environment U.S. firms are in. The companies mentioned in our stories come from all over the U.S., Canada and Europe as well as China and Japan. They are creating breakthrough drone swarming applications for entertainment, search and rescue, agriculture, mapping, inspection and fire fighting (page 38). They are building autonomous ground vehicles that make it possible to dig deeper mines and work them more safely. That same sort of smart technology already helps companies patrol parking lots and run security checks and new agricultural applications are being developed (page 16). We also look at what the adoption of autonomous capabilities mean for commercial trucking (page 58). There are still many steps to fully realizing the potential of unmanned technology but the ingenuity being applied is truly impressive. In two de- velopments with cross-domain applications, the firm WiBotic has found a way to do fully autonomous, wireless recharging of equipment and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory has made reusable zinc-based batteries that are safer and lighter than lithium-ion (Page 52). All these developments show what collaboration, imagination and en- terprise can do. The U.S. remains the nexus for unmanned technology; the place where firms feel it's essential to have a presence. There is a huge advantage in being the focal point of a new industry. That advantage can be maintained, but only if America can address its growing pains . Stake What's At

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