This post also appears in The Market section of sUAS News.

As the Federal Aviation Administration prepares new guidelines for the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in the U.S. national airspace, startups and aeronautic mainstays are chomping at the bit to start selling drones for commercial ventures, from filming to crop scouting to inspecting oil pipelines.  Some market forecasts like this one from Markets and Markets and this one from Business Insider expect the size of the commercial market for sUAS to grow significantly over the next decade. I believe they are right, but what is up for grabs is, Who will get the lion’s share of the market?  Will it be the startups like Airware and PrecisionHawk or the defense suppliers like Lockheed-Martin Procerus Technologies and AeroVironment?

Read more here:  http://droneanalyst.com/2014/09/25/commercial-uas-market-opportunities/

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  • Gary - I agree.  If you can get that farm survey into the farmers hand packed with meaning fast you will have a product worth something.  I don't any legacy firms doing that yet.

  • Just my 2c:

    Following things said at the 3rd UVID conference held last week

    ( http://uvid-en.israeldefense.co.il/ ) - besides the software & sensor angle

    Gary mentioned, the endgame will revolve around the service & operation

    axis rather than the technical platform itself.

    Take 3-4 pizza parlors in any major collage town... they all have their sourcing

    figured out and making pizza is no biggie. Yet one or two will take the lead, and

    not because they make "better" pizza!

    I belive once we realize that RPAS basically provide us with a new and robust

    "Aerial Infrastructure", we can draw on similarities between the evolution of other

    such infrastructures such as overland delivery of goods and communication services.

    Take "Google Car", which basically leads to the concept of "Car as a Service".



  • I saw evidence of the standardization roadblocks at the Ohio UAS.  There were vendors there showcasing MIL SPEC embedded electronics products. Quote "last year the new requirement was cooling fins. This year we solved that problem by making bigger / heavier aluminum casings that provide the same heat loss capabilities". It's a twofer by gosh.

  • Moderator

    I don't think the established vendors can innovate fast enough. Unless things are being kept black nothing has changed much in their small products in the last 10 years. The flying side is now trivial its software and sensors that are going to make folks money. If you can get that farm survey into the farmers hand packed with meaning fast you will have a product worth something.

  • Moderator

    I suppose if you think in terms of the financial investment in the commercial market, yes they have an advantage over the civilian/amateur segment, but look at the free flow of ideas in this very community of ours, with input from hundreds and thousands of members contributing.

    Also, look at the standardization and certification roadblocks to defence systems which demand hardened, bullet-proof systems, which add years to the lead time before technology is able to "take flight".  (eg. 8086 cpu's on the space shuttle)

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