Author Archives: Ben

Why you should join SUAS Global if you’re in the drone business

My name is Ben Lovegrove and in this post I’m going to tell you about SUAS Global and why I think it’s essential that you should join SUAS Global if you’re interested in drones.

join SUAS Global

First, a bit of background.

I started flying drones in 2014 and soon became aware that this industry was about undergo a huge expansion.  At that time the Drone Age was just beginning and no one was really sure where things were going.

Similarly, not so long ago, people were indifferent towards mobile phones and the World Wide Web when they first appeared.  They regarded them as fads that would soon pass or merely tools used by a narrow, specialist market.

Today, few people could imagine life without smartphones and the Web that together, connect the globe.

It would be foolish to make the same mistake with regard to drones.  Imagine combining Siri or Alexa with a robotic drone and you’ll begin to see the potential.

If you’re already involved either as a amateur or a professional then you’re in a strong position.  If you’re not yet involved then you should give serious consideration to starting a new career or a business associated with the world of unmanned systems.  By learning to use drones and studying all the latest developments you’ll be ahead of the curve.

However, information is everything.  If I knew in 1997 (when I built my first website) what I know now about the web, then I would be very, very wealthy by now.  It was not to be but you on the other hand could be at the right place and the right time in history.

But only if you have accurate information and the valuable contacts, and that’s where SUAS Global comes in.

Join SUAS Global

SUAS Global is the world’s largest online network providing unique connectivity for the drone industry and is a key part of the Drone Major Group.  The DMG network is the only business accelerator for the drone industry worldwide, providing vital support and added value to start-ups and young drone businesses across all environments (surface, underwater, air & space).

SUAS Global can provide opportunties and tenders for fledgling and established drone businesses.  They can give guidance on how to approach a tender with the maximum chance of winning the contract.

SUAS Global can connect you with drone operators and businesses around the world. By networking with these contacts you can share information, tips & advice, and pass on opportunties.

Membership of SUAS Global

Membership of SUAS Global gives you access to standards organisations, regulatory and government bodies, institutions, insurance providers, event organisers, financial organisations and universities around the world.

This membership provides opportunities for developing businesses to involve themselves in funded research projects, alongside further opportunities to have their research funded.

The SUAS Global portal gives you access to all the support that an ambitious growing drone business needs, with advice groups hosted by experts from around the world, a central advice service, legal advice, tax advice and much more.

SUAS Global have negotiated discounts with carefully selected suppliers that are dedicated to supporting drone businesses in their formative years.  As a full member you get discounts on equipment, software, training courses, accommodation, workwear, insurance, exhibitions, and magazine subscriptions.

There’s a finance portal providing access to a range of financial services designed to help get your business moving forward successfully.  And there’s a totally free recruitment service for members to advertise job opportunities, and also for those in the industry looking for employment.

No matter what environment you work in, there will be something there for you.

The Voice of SUAS

And finally, The Voice of SUAS, is an online forum that acts as a barometer of the drone industry by accessing the opinion and knowledge of the entire global drone market.

That’s just a brief description. As you can see, there’s a treasure trove for any ambitious individuals and fired-up startups.

Join now, build a profile, and start exploring.  Once you start interacting with other members you’ll quickly appreciate what a smart move you’ve made.

If you catch the wave and surf your way into the Drone Age you’ll be enjoying the fruits of your efforts in the years ahead.

July 3, 2018

Aerial Imaging Market to grow at 12% CAGR from 2018 to 2024

Aerial Imaging MarketAccording to a new research report by the market research and strategy consulting firm, Global Market Insights, Inc, the aerial imaging market to reach USD 4 billion by 2024. The aerial imaging market growth is attributed to the rising adoption of drones for aerial photography applications.

There has been an exponential increase in the use of UAVs for aerial photography applications over the past decade due to the key cost-benefits that they offer over traditional imaging platforms such as helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft-mounted camera platforms. Drones offer excellent maneuverability in congested urban areas where large aircraft cannot venture for capturing aerial images. This capability of drones is majorly leveraged by the real-estate sector for capturing aerial photographs of construction projects in urban areas.

Drone Use For Natural Disasters

There has been a significant increase in the incidents of natural disasters over the past four decades. According to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) reports that the frequency of natural disasters has increased nearly three-fold from over 1,300 events in 1975–1984 to over 3,900 in 2005–2014. Aerial imaging largely facilitates the timely assessment of affected areas and assists in quickly expediting appropriate repair and relief operations.

The UAV/drone platform held a major market share of around 71% in 2017 due to its rapidly growing adoption of the platform for aerial imaging in a diverse set of sectors including government, construction, oil & gas, military & defense, and agriculture. UAVs prove to be a cost-effective alternative to helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft for aerial imaging, which enables their adoption for small-scale and low-budget imaging applications.

Traditional Aerial Imagery Methods

There has been a significant decline in the usage of traditional aerial photography platforms, such as parachutes, balloons, kites, and vehicle-mounted poles, due to the advent of drone technology that serves as a reliable alternative for capturing aerial images in varying climatic conditions.

The vertical imaging segment held the majority share of the aerial imaging market in 2017 due to the major utility of the imaging practice in geospatial mapping applications. As vertical aerial images provide useful data for preparing precise digital models of terrains, they are widely used for mapping functions by government institutions.

Oblique imaging segment is expected to exhibit accelerated growth over the forecast timeline with a CAGR of over 15%. This excellent growth is attributed to the benefits of better determination of feature elevations and coverage of more ground area compared to vertical imaging taken from the same altitude with the same focal length.

The geospatial mapping segment dominated the aerial mapping market in 2017 due to the extensive applications of different aerial imaging modalities in geospatial mapping functions. Aerial images are utilized for photogrammetric mapping services that use remote sensing technologies and photogrammetry to produce geospatial mapping deliverables.

Urban Planning

The urban planning segment is projected to register the fastest growth of over 17% between 2018 and 2024 due to the increasing adoption of aerial photography by government institutions for improving road planning, real estate management, and land use calculations. As aerial images provide city planners with regular up-to-date information on traffic patterns, buildings, railroads, bridges, water features, and other urban infrastructure components, their utility for urban planning is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period.

The military & defense market is expected to exhibit the fastest growth between 2018 and 2024 with a CAGR of over 15%. This high growth is attributed to the large-scale adoption of aerial imaging platforms in the defense sector for applications such as mission simulation, mission planning, and air defense planning. Aerial images are also used for mapping applications, wherein the maps are used for planning military operations and enabling ground-based combat troops to find their way.

North America is projected to account for the majority market share of around 42% by 2024 due to large-scale investments in aeial imaging technologies by major market players such as Google and government institutions such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the U.S. Due to the rapid adoption of UAVs for imaging applications in the agriculture sector in the U.S., the region is expected to witness a steady growth between 2018 and 2024.

Affordable Aerial Imagery

The companies operating in the aerial imaging market are focusing on offering affordable imaging services to the customers as well as forging strategic partnerships with leading market players to extend their portfolio of aerial photography services and enhance their technological expertise.

For instance, in October 2017, Agribotix, one of the leading providers of drone-data processing solutions extended its partnership with The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto Company, to offer aerial imagery technology to the farmers in Brazil through solutions such as the Climate FieldView and Agribotix’s FarmLens platform.

In another instance, in May 2018, DJI, a leading global manufacturer of consumer and commercial drones, entered into a strategic partnership with Microsoft to bring advanced machine learning and AI capabilities to DJI drones.

DJI also selected Microsoft’s Azure as a preferred cloud computing platform to leverage the platform’s machine learning and AI capabilities to process large volumes of aerial imagery into actionable insights for its customers.

Some of the key players operating in the aerial imaging market are Eagle View Technologies, Digital Aerial Solutions, Cooper Aerial Surveys, Kucera International, Google, Fugro EarthData, Nearmap, DJI, 3D Robotics, Airobotics, DroneDeploy, PrecisionHawk, Getmapping, and GeoVantage.



June 7, 2018

Drone Pilot Jobs, Drone Related Careers, UAV Operator Salaries

drone pilot jobsIn this post I mention the opportunities that have emerged for drone pilots and anyone else looking for a career in the world of unmanned aviation.

If you’re a recently qualified drone pilot, or if you have ambitions to become one, or if you’re just interested in UAV related careers then read this post to the end and it will give you some idea of current job prospects and career development opportunities.

I’ll touch briefly at current drone pilot jobs, related careers, and the salaries on offer.

I’ve made several videos that describe aspects of running your own UAV based business so if you’re interested in self-employment then check out my channel and playlists:

So let’s get started.

We are now in the Drone Age and hardly a week goes by without some announcement of new developments in UAV technology. As with all technological advances there is a need for skilled personnel to fill vacancies created by the expansion.

With a little planning and the right training drone pilots and others can look forward to varied and rewarding careers within an exciting industry.

Jobs in the UAV Industry

As anyone who has taken the first steps into the world of unmanned aviation knows, drones can be put to all kinds of uses.

There is the obvious task of aerial photography and cinematography, and there’s also mapping, modelling, inspections, and thermal imagery to name a few.

Check out my video “What Are Drones Used For? 31 Uses For Flying Drones and UAV” for more examples. In the comments section underneath the video people have suggested even more uses. Drone Related Careers

There’s more to the Drone Age than just piloting drones.

Drone related careers include those who design, build, customise, and maintain UAV of all shapes and sizes.

Engineers might specialise in the airframes, working with new materials that provide extra strength & improved aerodynamics, along with 3D printing.

While we’re on the subject of engineers it’s worth also mentioning the crossover between unmanned and manned aviation.

Who will design the most successful unmanned aircraft capable of carrying passengers?

aerial photographyWill it be drone engineers who started their careers on nano drones or Small UAS and ended up designing large UAVs?

Or will it be aerospace engineers who began designing conventional manned aircraft and migrated into unmanned aircraft.

There are software engineers who develop the operating systems and apps in both the UAV itself and its controller, or who specialise in AI and FPV.

Software developers are also required to solve the problem of how to track drones and how to maintain separation between them and other aircraft types.

There are the manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers who keep the industry supplied with hardware and spares.

There are the training companies who, with the approval of their national aviation authority, train pilots to fly remotely piloted aircraft to a minimum standard of competence.

And we should also mention those who promote the industry by creating trade associations and networks providing marketing, mentoring, and support.

Drone Major GroupCompanies like Drone Major Group, the world’s first global commercial organisation for the drone industry. Use this link to register for a free account either as a supplier of UAV related services or as a drone pilot.

By registering for an account (with optional upgrades and additional privileges) you can use the site to network with others and to make valuable contacts in your chosen field.

These and other similar regional trade associations like ARPAS-UK (Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems UK) require support staff skilled in administration, PR, marketing, and event management.

Drone Pilot Salaries

As with any other industry, drone pilot salaries are commensurate with skills and experience and there is likely to be a wide variation in pay.

Recently qualified pilots with fresh certificates that allow them to fly, for example, a DJI Inspire for commercial purposes can expect starting salaries in the region of £25,000 GBP ($34,000 USD, $44,000 AUD) at the time of writing (Summer, 2018). On the other hand, ex-military UAV Operators with years of experience operating large and medium sized UAV might earn three times that amount.

As with many industries the high earners are those who are a specialists with rare skills and who provide high productivity and flexibility.

For drone pilots this might mean not only having the right technical skills but also being willing to operate UAV whenever the light and weather allows.

That is likely to be from early in the morning to late in the evening in summer months, and on weekends when weekday flying is cancelled due to adverse weather.

Drone Engineers who design, build, program, and test new drones could earn much more than pilots.

Salaries in excess of $100,000 USD have been quoted but I’ve been unable to verify them.

Perhaps if you have inside information on salary levels you could add a comment below this video.

Just like the IT industry, salaries within the drone industry are hard to pin down as there are many variables. Aside from the candidate’s skills and experience there is the size and profitability of the company itself.

A startup drone company might offer lower salaries with share options. If it becomes a success then this could be worth far more than a higher starting salary with no share options. Wherever you fit into the Drone Age I wish you well with your career.

Thanks for reading. I hope you found this post of interest. Please like and share the post with those who might also be curious.

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