Inside Unmanned Systems

APR-MAY 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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ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. 47 April/May 2018 unmanned systems inside special permission from the FAA—and there aren't a lot of famers who want to spend time applying for waivers (which we know are pretty difficult to get approved). While f lying larger drones (above 55 lbs) in controlled airspace and BVLOS could make this market more attractive, Prevot said the systems would have to meet additional re- quirements, making them a lot more expensive and difficult to employ. It seems no matter the type of system used, precision agriculture just isn't a scalable busi- ness model, Ellis said. PACKAGE DELIVERY While this is one of the most talked about areas in the drone industry, it's also one of the most complex, Bullard said. Drones have to safely deliver packages directly to a person's home, whether it's coming from an Amazon ware- house or a UPS truck, which isn't an easy task. Ellis sees last mile delivery as a more feasible option than drones dropping off packages one at a time from Amazon, especially as delivery trucks become autonomous. Delivering single packages via drone will just be too expensive. Freighters will eventually handle deliveries autonomously, and one day packages will go from manufacturer to doorstep with no hu- mans involved. Many of what Bullard describes as "heav- ies" are working on drone delivery, including Amazon, UPS, FedEx and DHL. "It's got to fit into their regular business mod- el," Prevot said. "All of this will require a much more sophisticated traffic management system, especially if we do have multiple vehicles flying in airspace where we don't currently have them." URBAN AIR MOBILITY The panel ended with a discussion on Urban Air Mobility, or UAM. Through UAM, air taxis will transport passengers in congested cities, saving them time and money. This is the area Poss believes is the least likely to develop, but Prevot said there are many companies, in- cluding Uber Elevate, working to create elec- tric VTOL aircraft and networks to make it a reality. To learn more about the work being done by Uber Elevate, NASA and other key players, turn to page 34. As the drone industry contin- ues to evolve, so will the regu- lations and the technology that make missions possible across many different verticals. There will be more opportunities to make money in this industry, whether it's through applications that are already popular like inspection, or fu- ture applications such as air taxis. "Pick something and be good at it," Bullard said of how to capitalize in the drone market. "It's OK to be scatter shot like a shot gun, but after you've done a couple scatter shots, pick out what you're good at." " ALL OF THIS WILL REQUIRE A MUCH MORE SOPHISTICATED TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, ESPECIALLY IF WE DO HAVE MULTIPLE VEHICLES FLYING IN AIRSPACE WHERE WE DON'T CURRENTLY HAVE THEM." Tom Prevot, director of Airspace Systems, Uber Elevate The Uber Elevate eVTOL common reference model fl ies a sample route.

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