Inside Unmanned Systems

DEC 2018 - JAN 2019

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  December 2018/January 2019 unmanned systems inside Future Energized by Business, Tech and Regulatory Advances EDITORIAL OPINION Photos courtesy of North Carolina Department of Transportation, UAV Factory and Airbus. T his year saw more firms working out the de- tails of whether to hire drone specialists or build an in-house f leet—or do a bit of both—as de- tailed in our article on insourcing versus outsourc- ing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) (page 48). The many options companies now have spring from an evolving list of different business models, software-enabled capabilities and ways of using drone-generated data. That diversity of choices and the creativity from which it springs is draw- ing the attention of venture capitalists. Though there is certainly still money for hardware, many cutting-edge investors are choosing to back data and software companies—three quarters of them U.S. firms—as well as entrepreneurs addressing challenges like air traffic management, according to a new report from the Teal Group. What venture capitalists are hoping to find are the potential winners of an increasingly rich race. Teal's latest forecast, detailed starting on page 44, has the global market for civil and commer- cial drones leaping in value from a 10-year total of $73.5 billion projected in 2017 to this year's forecast of $88.3 billion for 2018-2027 inclusive. Helping enable that growth are the 10 teams of t he Federa l Av iat ion Ad m in istrat ion's (FA A's) Integration Pilot Program (IPP). Inside Unmanned Systems has been following their progress as they develop, prototype and test the technology and procedures that will take the us- age of UAS into the real world. The Florida team in Lee County has reframed its plans to focus on surveilling mosquito hot spots and using drones to control mosquito popula- tions through the release of sterile insects (page 18). Both the North Carolina team and the group in Reno, Nevada are working on practical drone package delivery. The Carolina team is trying to speed the delivery of medical samples to the lab for faster turnaround (page 24) while the Reno IPP partners are trying to improve the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest by whisking portable defibrillators to victims via UAS (page 30). There will be more breakthroughs—new sen- sors, for example, like the one being developed by scientists at Tel Aviv University in Israel based on the echolocation capabilities of bats (page 40). However, the real advance this fall—the multi-lay- ered development that could make a difference in the fortunes of the drone industry—was the signing of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (page 8). This new law deals with issues of drone iden- tification/security and tasked the Comptroller General with studies aimed at solving issues of privacy protection, infrastructure financing and the role of local authorities. It also gave the FAA access to more resources and deadlines to find answers for safely integrating drones into the na- tional air space. "We have the technology to do what is neces- sary for safety and privacy," Congressman Frank LoBiondo said in his inter view w ith Inside Unmanned Systems (page 58), "but the FAA just has to get out of the way with their rulemaking and get to a commonsense point with the technol- ogy that is available today."

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