Inside Unmanned Systems

DEC 2017 - JAN 2018

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 December 2017/January 2018 6 unmanned s ystems unmanned s ystems unmanned s inside unmanned s inside inside unmanned s December 2017/January 2018 December 2017/January 2018 EDITORIAL OPINION Photos courtesy of (Top to Bottom) Vantage Robotics, @thedrone_lass and NUAIR. W ith the advent of the New Year, this issue of Inside Unmanned Systems is looking ahead to the developments and trends experts believe will shape the unmanned industry in 2018 and beyond. The just-launched Integration Pilot Project, or IP2, has the potential to energize the com- mercial drone industry in a way that surpasses even implementation of the Part 107 f light rules. Where Part 107 made it clear that commercial drone services were indeed a real indus- try, IP2 could ultimately enable that industry to operate in broader ways that are both profit- able and acceptable to the general public. As the analyses on pages 8 and 44 explain, the real question is whether the Federal Aviation Administration will get the funding it needs to tap the full potential of IP2. That potential could lead to, for example, an expansion of f lights over people for applica- tions like facility inspections or real estate photography. CNN has already laid the ground work for this, winning an FAA waiver for news gathering missions, based in large part on the safety features of a petite, break-apart drone (see page 36). Other firms and researchers should be able to build on the work done by CNN and Vantage Robotics. Building on cutting-edge technology is also at the heart of design advances in marine ro- botics. As explained on page 66, additive manufacturing is not just changing how things are built; it is expanding how they're designed. This development, plus innovations expected when artificial intelligence is applied to acoustic signal processing and other challenges, could dra- matically expand the range and practicality of automated marine operations for oil and gas and new industries like open-ocean aquiculture. Fortunately, not all autonomous applications have to wait on tech breakthroughs or policy makers. Retail firms, for example, are earnestly integrating drones and ground robots into their inventory management operations. These mechanical bean counters can tally items on a warehouse's highest shelves, locate lost goods and, at the retail level, alert store staff when shelves need restocking or a price needs updating (see page 50). These "retail robots" are being widely deployed in the U.S.—something harder to do in Europe where the rules governing drones vary from nation to nation or are non-existent. The European Union is now deeply engaged in harmonizing those rules, an especially challenging process that requires agreement on technical and operational issues across 28 member states (see page 60). Meanwhile, test ranges in the U.S. are working on their own form of cross-border consis- tency—the full integration of drone f lights into the national air space (see page 20). These test- ing zones, including a 50-mile corridor between two airports in New York State, will enable the assessment of f light hardware and the unmanned traffic management systems essential to safe operations. We hope this news-you-can-use issue will help make 2018 your most successful year yet . HERE COMES HERE COMES HERE COMES HERE COMES HERE COMES 2018 2 01 8 the future the future the future HERE COMES HERE COMES HERE COMES HERE COMES HERE COMES 2018 2018 2018 the future the future the future the future the future

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