UNMANNED SYSTEMS: Big Droid, Drone and ‘bot Show Opens in D.C. UPDATE

August 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm Leave a comment

AUVSI Unmanned Systems 2013

UPDATES with Teal Group UAV analysis

Customs and Border Protection photo

Customs and Border Protection photo

Hardly a day goes by now when unmanned aircraft, submarines or robots aren’t in the news: flying up to the International Space Station, monitoring dangerous weather or discovering long lost shipwrecks.

They’re also in the news because they can conduct surveillance on bad guys and launch missile strikes on terrorist hideouts — all from a safe distance. And that has some people worried about Big Brother intrusions on civil liberties and due process. There are also concerns — especially about the safety of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) — among the public and some lawmakers in Congress and several states.

But a recent study by an aerospace and defense market analysis firm indicates that future looks bright for UAVs — even in tough budgetary times for the U.S. government. According to Teal Group’s 2013 market study,  UAVs continue to be “the most dynamic growth sector of the world aerospace industry this decade.”

Teal Group estimates that UAV spending will more than double over the next decade “from current worldwide UAV expenditures of $5.2 billion annually to $11.6 billion” for a total of “just over $89 billion in the next 10 years.”

An excerpt from the report’s executive summary , released in conjunction with this week’s annual conference and expo of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. (AUVSI), attributes the growth projections to the “enormous growth of interest” in UAVs by the U.S. military. “UAVs have proved their value in Iraq and Afghanistan and are being sought by a growing number of militaries worldwide,” says Philip Finnegan, Teal Group’s director of corporate analysis and an author of the UAV study.

The study cites the demands on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) needs for the expected growth in UAV payloads. The UAV electronics market will grow steadily — with the fastest growth coming in synthetic aperture radar SAR and signals intelligence/electronic warfare SIGINT/EW technology, according to David Rockwell, another author of the study.

Meanwhile, the people who design, build, equip, use and regulate unmanned systems of all types are gathered at the Washington Convention Center in the nation’s capital this week to discuss all the ways robots and ‘droids can free humans from tasks that are dirty, dull and dangerous.

U.S. Army Photo

U.S. Army Photo

Officials from the Army, Navy, Department of Transportation, business and academia will be among the speakers discussing robots that operate in the air and space, on the ground and on or under the sea at the four-day conference put on by the AUVSI.

More than 600 products and services will be on display in the enormous exhibit hall. Thousands of attendees are expected — including your 4GWAR editor.

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Entry filed under: Counter Insurgency, Disaster Relief, Skills and Training, Technology, Unmanned Aircraft, Unmanned Systems, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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