Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG-SEP 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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8 unmanned systems inside   August/September 2017 I t depends. If we're talking about the number of drones America needs, the answer has to be "all of 'em," because we haven't begun to see the explosion in the number of civilian drones in this country. If we're talking about the types of civil drones America will fly, the answer is dif- ferent. I think the drone industry will go the way of the cell phone industry and neck down to a few major types of very safe, very reliable, very secure, and very flexible drones. The cell phone industry went from dozens of types of phones, all with their own operating system in the early 2000s, to a handful of phone types with just two operating systems (OS); Apples' iOS and Google's Android OS. Apple went with a tightly coupled hardware and OS approach and Google went with a loosely coupled hardware and OS approach. Together, they represent roughly 97% of the worldwide cell phone market. Lessons from the Cell Phone Market Why did the cell phone industry neck down two major operating systems in the past decade? Security and stability were the two driving factors. Apple's iOS traces its lineage back to UNIX, an OS known for its security. Apple addressed stability issues by tightly coupling their hardware and operating systems. Unlike open sys- tems, Apple has the luxury of writing code for a small number of hardware suites. It makes for a very stable, very secure plat- form. Google based its Android OS on Linux (essentially the open source version of UNIX) and made the code available to MARKET FORCES WILL LIKELY PUSH THE UNMANNED AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY TO CONSOLIDATE AROUND TWO OPERATING SYSTEMS—JUST LIKE CELL PHONE FIRMS DID. Photo courtesy of Insitu. SOFTWARE ROADMAP General Overview by James Poss, Maj Gen (RET) USAF Above: Insitu may end up talking an Android-like approach to applications that invites developers to devise mission software. HOW MANY DRONES DO WE NEED? by JAMES POSS, MAJ GEN (RET) USAF, CEO ISR IDEAS

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