Something Big Is Coming For UAS

By Luke Geiver | August 31, 2016

It is hard to say for sure what it might be, but after spending the better part of last week with UAS researchers, pilots, manufacturers, sensor developers, consultants and regulators, it is clear there will be some major milestone moments coming soon to the UAS world.

I’m not even talking about Part 107 being official. I’m talking about beyond-visual-line-of-sight operations, major UAS fleet deployments in the U.S., new sensor package offerings and/or a greater implementation of UAVs on the government front.

Some of this perspective will show up in print and online stories, but most is better suited to share in a blog space like this. It’s hard to put together a story on off-the-record commentary or conversations had on general UAS existing without an actual list of preplanned questions or story interest. So, here are a few takeaways from conversations had last week.

It seems as if numerous private companies in an end-use industry that seems perfect for UAS use have moved past the buy-in stage and are now either firming up UAS integration plans or are working through the process. They don’t need to be sold anymore on UAS.

Regulators are working hard to shore up state-by-state regulatory language—or at least better understand and utilize what currently exists—that makes it more feasible for local law enforcement or other agencies to efficiently enforce against unlawful or harmful UAS activity.

BVLOS work is underway, whether you know about it or not. There are many entities lining up the communication networks that will make testing, and actual flights possible for both large and small UAVs.

Precision ag professionals are narrowing down the best near-term uses for UAVs that will give them actual profit improvement opportunities instead of just aerial images.

For more from the place where many of these conversations noted above took place, check out some coverage from this event here, or here.