March 2017

UAS Market Revolution and the Natural Science of Paradigm Change

The industrial revolution may have unfolded over a period of decades, however, when viewed through the preceding lens of agrarian culture it represented a sudden rending of what was, and a rapid reshaping of the present and future.

On a smaller scale presently, we witness a similar reading and reshaping cycle within the commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) marketplace.  UAS enablers including processor speed and power, ubiquitous communications infrastructure, powerful small form factor sensors, immense data storage and retrieval and advanced building materials represent revolutions of their own, worthy of separate and distinct discussion. Read more…


Join us at the 2017 AUVSI XPONENTIAL Show

2017 AUVSI XponentialJoin Velocity Group at the 2017 AUVSI XPONENTIAL: All Things Unmanned.

From May 8th through May 11th, we’ll be at booth 407 in the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center.

This show is focused on drones, intelligent robotics, unmanned systems industry and the various equipment and services designed to support it.

Aside from exhibiting, we have been organizing the highly anticipated Drone Design: Enabling Longevity and Market Acceptance Through Design Methodology panel discussion.

If you are still around at 10:30 on May 11th, make sure to stop by booth 3365 to listen to our Business Development Director, Robotics and Unmanned Systems, Ron Stearns give his talk titled, “Commercial UAS: Access, Ecosystem and Market Evolution.” His talk will cover the following subjects:

  • Timing and nature of expanding commercial UAS access to the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS)
  • The types of organizations addressing this market, along with their primary business focus
  • Market transitions, consumer to commercial
  • Business cases based upon geography, existing value streams and varied data requirements

Read more…


UAS 2017: An Ecosystem to Serve Part 107 and Beyond

Keynote speakers and panelists at day one of FAA UAS 2017 portrayed where the commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry has come (from regulatory and licensing perspectives) and what challenges remain to expanding access to the National Airspace System (NAS).

Some of the envelope-expansion initiatives, operations over people, beyond line-of sight (BLoS) have structure and anticipated timelines associated to prove operational concepts in real-world environments.  Other pathways such as equipage, certifications and commercial UAS build standards are much less defined and could be construed as shaping opportunities for industry. Regarding this murky path forward, a sage advisor jokingly said yesterday: “wherever you go, there you are.” Read more…


Commercial Drone Markets: Current Conditions and Anticipated Evolutions

From investment to hardware to proof-of-concept to concurrent market shifts, the commercial UAV/drone market continues its transformation from ad-hoc combinations to planned, industrial use.

Context and Timing

The 2014-2018 timeline across the X axis begins with the May 2014 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announcement to accept petitions for commercial UAS exemption under Section 333 of FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. This “release valve” eventually accounted for more than 5,000 exemptions and enabled some first, concrete steps into commercial drone use within the United States.  June 21, 2016, saw FAA release of the Part 107 rule, allowing commercial drone use within certain use parameters, operator certifications, and training. Read more…


Acronym Effectiveness, the Drone Advisory Council (DAC)

What does a Meal-Ready-to-Eat (MRE) and the Drone Advisory Council (DAC) have in common?  Nothing really except for an ingrained reluctance to give benefit of the doubt to organizations requiring an acronym.  At a very young age, I asked about my dad’s experience with MREs.  He leveled me and essentially said that the MRE (at the time) was known as “three lies in one.”

So, I took this cognitive acronym baggage with me to Reno, NV for the DAC’s Jan. 31, 2017 meeting.  And, to be honest I was pleasantly surprised.  Yes, the council has a rigidity in public communications and a top-down tasking structure, but that comes with the territory.  Yes, progress will continue to be “too slow” for industry wanting increased airspace access sooner than later, however, a look at the roughly 2-year progression from very limited commercial operations to a Part 107 paradigm is encouraging. Read more…