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Emerging Applications for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Across Global Government and Commercial Sectors

  • December 2013
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 47 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

UAS Platforms are Flexible and Hold Great Potential

The significant potential and benefits of UAS have led to increasing implementation since the mid-1980s. Through the years, these platforms have proven successful on numerous missions, leading to growing popularity. UAS now has a significant role for numerous military units worldwide. A decrease in military expenditure has, however, nudged UAS manufacturers to look towards commercial markets. This market insight covers emerging applications for unmanned aerial systems globally.

Executive Summary

•Regulatory processes restrain commercial growth in all but a select few countries.
•Next Generation (NextGen) Air Traffic Management systems such as automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) are critical pieces of the puzzle to integrate UAS into the National Airspace (NAS).
•Technological developments are mission enablers in the same way that mission requirements drive technological changes. Technological milestones have yet to be met to enable the safe integration of UAS into non-segregated airspace.
•Green technologies and technologies giving enhanced power and endurance, coupled with higher payload capacities, will further encourage adoption of UAS.
•Improved computing power and higher speed data links will allow for more sophisticated control and management techniques.
•Modularity of systems and standardisation of middleware will allow for flexibility and configurability of systems.
•Law enforcement and first responders lead the pack, with cautious uptake for agriculture and forestry.
•Costs and inconsistent demand limit commercial buy-in, though this is expected to change gradually as UAS continue to become more efficient and less costly.
•In other words, more capability at less cost encourages more market growth.

Introduction

The significant potential and benefits of UAS have led to increasing implementation since the mid-1980s. Through the years, these platforms have proven successful on numerous missions, leading to growing popularity.
UAS now has a significant role for numerous military units worldwide. A decrease in military expenditure has, however, nudged UAS manufacturers to look towards commercial markets.
The shift from military implementation has and will be gradual. Government and law enforcement have begun the shift, pressuring regulatory bodies to finalise interim legislation. This will facilitate the commercialisation of the UAS and application thereof to fields such as precision agriculture and journalism.

Scope of Study

End users
•Parapublic (Government and first responders)
•Commercial (Industry, commercial operators, research, private)

Technology
•Avionics
•Vehicle Mission Systems

Regulations
•Pilot/crew
•Equipage
•CONOPS

Safety Risks and Other Concerns

CONOPS – mission sets, handover procedures
Mid-air collision with another UAS or manned aircraft or crashes involving fatalities on the ground
Legal liability/accountability issue:
•Pilot in command under legal obligation for safe operations
•Insurance costs are currently high
Pilot error versus programmer error with growing autonomy
•May be combated by high software standards/redundancy
Crew and pilot training
Loss of communication/guidance and security of communications
Privacy concerns
Data rights – who owns the right to use and distribute this data

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