A important story came across the news wires today. The FAA will not meet their September 30, 2015 deadline to allow unmanned commercial drones in US skies. They are looking into privacy and safety issues. As the article mentions, it is a $90 billion commercial market over the next decade. While local and state police, farmers looking over their crops, and oil pipeline right of way flyovers are mentioned in the article it has further market applications across wide industries.
Take the public safety with aerial survey/Geomatics-Civil Engineering application for example. Unmanned drones can complement manned aerial flights in engineering before storms hit. Allowing aerial drones can also allow local and state government and businesses to have drones in the air quicker after extreme storm events. Think of a system to have remote control drone aircraft in storm chasers’ equipment set so they can survey and upload data as or immediately after a storm event to survey damage of all levels using photogrammerty and/or LiDAR onboard. The quicker this data can get into a real time Geographic Information System the quicker the recovery can happen and peoples’ lives can get back to normal. Insurance companies would like to have the detail in their database for the future, a information clearing house can be set up with the operators and commercial aerial survey & GIS companies and governments to have the data properly interpreted on a fast turnaround basis.
The future for public safety & other commercial applications is bright as this new technology takes to the air in 2016 and beyond.
(c)2012 Charles Schoeneberger