Inside Unmanned Systems

OCT-NOV 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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52  October/November 2018 unmanned systems inside a very broad market, but more a niche market, like many innovations. However, the potential can be enormous when extended line of sight is approved or even BVLOS [beyond visual line of sight] or autonomous f lights." REGULATION ON THE HORIZON "It's not only a technology thing but also a legal thing," Van Der Wal said. "Drones, of course, are very much subject to regulations nowadays. We cannot f ly further than line of sight, for ex- ample, as I said. We are, of course, definitely paying attention to what's happening with the European drone regulation. We are absolutely on top of it. We are very excited about what EASA (the European Aviation Safety Agency) is now promoting with the specific scenarios." EASA has been very much involved in the drafting of the EU's soon-to-be-adopted drone regulation. Under the envisaged scheme, the creation of so-called 'standard scenarios' for European drone operations will allow a level of automation in the f light authorization process. The idea is to have a pre-established risk assess- ment ready for certain types of operations, so it's not necessary to do a long and drawn-out assessment for every drone mission. "With these scenarios, if you are able to get an agricultural scenario prepared, then we can say: "Listen, line-of-sight is just too short for most of these fields," Van Der Wal said. "I'm not talking about the Netherlands and Belgium, these are small countries. But you go to France and Germany, with line of sight you do not even cover a quarter of your fields. The new technol- ogy will be able to do it. With this technology we can easily f ly the whole field without inter- fering with anything else, and that would be the great jump forward. So, yes, 2019 I think is the year they're going to have this new European regulation. If that comes through—I hope as soon as possible—we can convince the regula- tors and this agricultural scenario will roll out. And then we'll be able to make major progress." Having said all that, Van Der Wal and part- ners are not waiting around for new regula- tions. His new startup, BIOSCOPE, is deliv- ering imagery by integrating more expensive drone monitoring with less expensive satellite monitoring. The company uses satellites when- ever possible and drones when needed. "With this combination," Van Der Wal said, "we achieve an affordable, reliable data service to farmers, providing them with fresh imagery throughout the growing season." Other viable business cases exist in niche markets, he said. For instance, plant breeders are using drones to closely monitor experimen- tal plots, and agricultural insurance companies use them to carry out damage assessment. So there is money to be made now for drone op- erators in the agriculture sector in addition to Tamme Van Der Wal, partner, AeroVision B.V. Drones also are being used to calculate field sizes for subsidy purpose. Tamme Van Der Wal of AeroVision, B.V. "What (farmers) really want to know is what they have to do with the information. They need to use it. If they are able to use it they will invest in it. That means the software, all these new packages now coming into the market that absorb our data and translate it into required actions." Max Schulman, arable farmer from Finland its own system, how they do it, so you will never find a one-size-fits-all solution for all the farms. Give us a choice of solutions, lift it up, make it easy to use and accessible and we'll use it." "Every farm has its own choice, Photo courtesy of Peter Gutierrez. BRUSSELS VIEW by PETER GUTIERREZ

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