UNMANNED SYSTEMS: Defense Industry Looks to Public Safety Sector to Revive Flat U.S. Market

June 18, 2014 at 11:57 pm Leave a comment

 Not Quite Ploughshares.

Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares, a sculpture by Evgeniy Vuchetich in the United Nations Art Collection

Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares, a sculpture by Evgeniy Vuchetich in the United Nations Art Collection

And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Book of Isaiah, Chapter 2, Verses 3-4.

The U.S. defense industry isn’t quite making ploughshares yet, but as U.S. defense spending has declined, the unmanned systems sector has been talking up the capabilities of its robots, ‘droids and drones to help find lost hikers, track fleeing crime suspects and assist firefighters in remote wilderness areas.

Long time unmanned aircraft makers like AeroVironment and Insitu held briefings at last month’s big robotics industry conference in Orlando, Florida, about how their unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) could assist police looking for evidence or firefighters battling wildfires. The shift to the commercial market was the talk of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) gathering in Orlando.

Wall Street and industry analysts say the U.S. defense market is flat and while manufacturers may be looking hopefully to the commercial market, business will be slow until the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finally decides how to integrate unmanned aircraft into the National Air Space.

All this and more is covered in an Aviation Week article your 4GWAR editor co-authored with Mike Fabey in Washington and Christina Mackenzie in Paris. The story Saving Grace: Robotic systems target civil market as defense lags, is the June 16 Defense Technology Edition of Aviation Week.

AeroVironment's Qube quadcopter in action. (Courtesy AeroVironment, Inc.) s www.avinc.com

AeroVironment’s Qube quadcopter in action.
(Courtesy AeroVironment, Inc.) s http://www.avinc.com

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Entry filed under: Aircraft, Disaster Relief, Unmanned Aircraft. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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