DAN Expands With Three New Members

The Drone Advocacy Network(DAN) recently welcomed three additional companies to its membership –Kittyhawk, RMUS and AutoModality.  The services offered by these drone industry innovators improve performance, efficiency and safety in a variety of industries.

In just three and a half years, Kittyhawk transformed from a basement project into an industry-leading operation that has powered over 380,000 flights, provided essential drone services to Fortune 500 companies and collaborated with the federal government to protect our airspace. The San Francisco-based start up provides a platform that enables businesses to operate an “in-house” drone program, encompassing pre-flight planning, flight operations, maintenance, authorization services, as well as secure storage of the collected data. Designed for small and large commercial drone operations, Kitty hawk’s solutions empower enterprises to manage the complexity of operators, aircraft, airspace, data analytics,insights and compliance to maximize safety.

“RMUS is pleased to announce our new membership status with the Drone Advocacy Network. We have been involved in statewide policy development for several years and are excited to help move the commercial/public safety UAV industry forward on a national level,”said RMUS President JT Von Lunen.

AutoModality providesUAV flight control software for infrastructure inspections including bridges, rail way systems, and cellular towers, among others. With offices in Syracuse, NY and SanRafael, CA, AutoModality creates fully autonomous mobile systems that enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, and safety of inspections while streamlining maintenance operations. Its Perceptive Navigation technology enables UAV systems to fly autonomously with pinpoint accuracy in GPS-denied locations allowing an unparalleled proximity between the UAV and the asset under inspection. The PerceptiveNavigation technology ensures the high quality and repeatability of UAV data collection even in circumstances when GPS navigation is off the table.

As a business that develops specialized autonomous UAV infrastructure solutions for Fortune 100enterprises, AutoModality fully understands the safety benefits of drone technology.  These benefits are multiplied when industry partners collaborate and share their ideas and platforms to yield superior products for consumers, private businesses,government agencies and first responders. The Drone Advocacy Network is an ideal venue to promote these platforms and advocate for future growth in theUAV technology marketplace, which will lead to more off-the-shelf solutions to meet the needs of customers and clients,” said AutoModality COO Aaron Singer. 

DAN welcomes our newest member sand recognizes their continuing contributions to the drone ecosystem and the many industries that are already benefiting from these exciting technologies.

New Drone Group Launches to Address Security While Promoting Benefits

DroneBase CEO Dan Burton authored the column below, which ran in the Santa Monica Daily Press on September 29, 2018. 

Businesses across the United States are deploying drone technologies as a means of boosting efficiency, reducing costs, enhancing safety and security while driving innovation and creating new American jobs. That is great news – for public safety, for national security, and our economy.

Drones have been a critical help in battling California’s devastating wildfires from Cedar and Thomas to Carr. An estimated 910 individual public safety agencies across the US are using drones, including 58 counties in California.

Drones offer firefighters access to critical real-time data on wildfire growth and trajectory in addition to thermal imaging capabilities used in search and rescues as well as the ability to identify flare-ups through thick smoke. Perhaps most critically, drones sometimes reduce the amount of firefighters needed on the front lines who are at the highest risk.

There is, of course, the possibility that bad actors can misuse drone technology. These ever-present risks make it crucial for the industry to work alongside the government to modernize policies that protect against malicious drone use. We must fill in the policy gaps and modernize antiquated regulations so that together we enhance the value of drone technology for our nation and local communities.

Advocating for security, data management standards, and sound policies are goals of the newly formed Drone Advocacy Network (DAN). DAN brings together innovators, suppliers, engineers, data developers, and users of drones, all dedicated to the responsible advancement of drone technologies. DAN members, like DroneBase and others are on the forefront of using drone technology to improve public safety, agriculture, insurance, energy, construction, and telecommunication services, while investing in a more secure America and supporting the creation of thousands of new jobs.

DAN members see the value of expanding collaborative efforts with government agencies, which will further enhance public safety and trust of drone technology. DAN calls on government agencies to come together with the industry and establish a working group to address the gaps in tools and authorities, so that together we enhance the value of drone technology for our nation and local communities.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (drone) usage is growing rapidly, with drone sales of $8.5 billion in 2016 and expected to surpass $12 billion by 2021.Commercial drone use is similarly forecast to expand at a rate of over 50 percent annually for the next three years. This growth is yielding exciting new products and applications of drone technology that are now being utilized by governments, industries, small businesses, and more than800,000 U.S. hobbyists. Drone technology offers the potential to enhance our communities and marketplaces, from transforming e-commerce to making emergency response services faster and more effective.

The availability of safe and secure drone technology has helped veterans cope with PTSD, save humpback whales, aid farmers with crops and land management, and provide accurate aerial pictures and video of their most important assets to businesses, and supply media outlets with images to help tell stories of what is happening on the ground. The benefits of drone technology continue to grow as this technology takes hold across America; the potential is limitless.

With the rapid growth of new drone technologies, products, and applications, we must adopt informed policies and regulations that encourage innovation and allow us to take maximum advantage of drone capabilities while maximizing security and privacy through data management and cybersecurity practices. Drone innovators and industry leaders take security, compliance, and protection of data very seriously. We rely on industry-standards and best practices to secure and manage data, thereby minimizing risk to our customers and operations.

DJI Technology – a founding member of DAN – estimated that UAV technologies have helped rescue at least 136 people around the world. Nearly 1,000 local and state public safety agencies are leveraging the power of drone technologies to make their communities safer and more secure. Drone technology and thermal imaging are enabling firefighters to track fires and saving lives as part of successful search and rescue missions.

As DAN members, we see the value of expanding collaborative efforts with government agencies, including working together to further enhance public safety and trust of drone technology. This will allow the UAV industry to test and deploy defensive drone technologies. Our collaboration will inform stakeholders about the benefits of drone technologies and their utility in real-world situations. DAN members look forward to working with government, industry, and policymakers to develop sensible guidelines, standards and policies that will help improve drone safety while ensuring compliance with security and data management processes.

We strongly support a sound regulatory framework that will preserve and expand the vibrant marketplace for drone technology, yielding benefits in public safety, in the economy, and for individual users. Forward-thinking policies will allow for a growing number of technical collaborations, joint ventures, and new investments that will make drone technology available and secure for all Americans while improving the quality of life for generations. The future is looking up.

Dan Burton is the CEO and Founder of DroneBase, a Santa Monica, California headquartered company. Prior to founding DroneBase, Dan served as a Marine Infantry Officer in Iraq and Afghanistan in addition to earning his MBA from Harvard Business School

DAN Welcomes New Member: Ideal Blasting Supply

The UAV industry is growing fast – in both sheer size and in the influx of new and innovative technologies that seem to roll out daily. These products and solutions are coming from the smallest garage-based upstart entrepreneur as well as the larger more established UAV industry leaders, and the thousands of UAV companies and individuals in between. The Drone Advocacy Network (DAN) aims to highlight these UAV visionaries and proponents these technologies and the wide array of benefits they provide.

Just like UAV technology and its numerous implementations, DAN too, is growing.  DAN welcomes Ideal Blasting Supply as a member.  This Asheville, North Carolina-based company has established its reputation by providing the finest equipment and services for drilling and blasting professionals for nearly forty years.  Ideal Blasting Supply also works to ensure many EOD (Explosives Ordnance Disposal) and bomb technicians, SWAT and law enforcement personnel stay safe by supplying them with the best tools and gear as they protect us while carrying out their missions.

Controlling explosions takes great skill and demands that professional operators use the most accurate and current information available. Ideal Blasting recognizes the usefulness of drone technology for commercial blasting operations and EOD needs. Drones are able to survey job sites and dangerous areas in a fraction of the time it takes with a ground-based crew, accurately measure volumes, distance and area on any device, keep projects on schedule with sharable maps, and generate 3D, high-resolution models and clouds, among other functions.  By providing a clearer common-operating picture, UAV technology and the drone platforms, cameras, ground stations, components, and accessories offered by Ideal Blasting Supply improve safety and productivity for blasters on the job and public safety officers responding to threats.

Ideal Blasting Supply established its reputation by staying at the forefront of technology that boosts efficiency and security where it matters most. Its resourceful blasting, bomb squad, surveying and safety supplies have been utilized across the country for decades.  Embracing drones was a far-sighted step in providing businesses better and safer solutions for their daily operations.

As DAN grows, it looks forward to magnifying the work of Ideal Blasting Supply, and other members, which have embraced UAV technology offering products, services, and ideas which have a positive impact spanning far beyond the UAV industry.

Why We Launched

The DJI Drone Advocacy Network (DAN) is a diverse forum that brings together innovators, suppliers, engineers, data developers, and drone users to advance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone technologies. Our members rely on DJI platforms to develop new products and applications, create jobs, and grow their businesses. DAN members work to drive new innovations, address cybersecurity and data management issues, and share best practices in a manner that benefits first responders, enterprises and businesses of all sizes, and drone hobbyists. DAN is a forum where organizations sharing mutual interests can interact and engage with public officials, policymakers, and regulators concerning unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology. Our members support thousands of American jobs.

Over the last decade, drone usage has grown dramatically. This growth has included new uses and technologies, which are already being employed by the government at the federal, state and local level, as well as commercial industries, small businesses and entrepreneurs, first responders, and hobbyists.  Developers and consumers of drone technology recognize how it benefits national security, public safety, the arts, and economic growth, as well as the entertainment value it provides for over 800,000 hobbyist drone users. According to a Business Insider Intelligence report, sales of drones will surpass $12 billion in 2021, up from $8.5 billion in 2016; consumer and commercial drone shipments will hit 29 million and 805,000 that same year, respectively.

Taking into account this massive expansion of the marketplace, DAN members recognize the opportunity to apply the transformative and life-saving capabilities of drone technologies for a growing number of uses.  Working together, DAN will support a continuously evolving stream of new technologies, devices, apps, products, and services for the American people and businesses.  DAN members will collaborate to inform public and government officials on the benefits of drone technologies, as well as share stories about the utility of drones in real-world situations.

These real-life stories include how drone technologies assisted in search and rescue missions in California and Florida, and helped save dozens of lives last year by locating stranded individuals in dire circumstances. Drone technology aids in law enforcement, provides advances in agriculture, supports and maintains our energy infrastructure, and aids in critical conservation efforts across the U.S.  It also increases access to products and services for consumers, provides critical real-time monitoring capacities, and even offers new tools which have become necessities in the film industry – for novices as well as the largest Hollywood studios.

As the possibilities with drones continues to expand, we look forward to offering a heightened perspective on how drone technologies and its developers and adopters can provide an increasing number of services while protecting privacy rights through enhanced data management and cybersecurity. DAN supports a sound regulatory framework that will preserve a thriving marketplace that yields benefits to public safety, the economy as a whole, and the individual consumer.

If you or your organization share our goals, please consider becoming a member of our forum here. We look forward to hearing from those who share our passion for drone technology.