COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
The global market for Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM)is projected to reach US$1.5 billion by 2025, driven by the growing use of UAVs in the commercial and industrial sectors and the resulting risk of overcrowding of the skies. UAVs forecast to be the most dynamic growth sector of the global aerospace industry. This expanding use of unmanned systems is due to advances in technology and reductions in size, risks, and costs that remotely operated systems offer. With new commercial applications emerging at rapid rates, commercial drones are forecast to witness massive increase in sales and registration. Benefits offered by drone to businesses include greater efficiency of operations; reduced costs; ability to handle risky operations without human interventions; ability to collect, retrieve and interpret data with unmatched accuracy and speed and continues innovation in advanced capabilities and functionalities that support continuous expansion of applications; among. Few of the emerging applications for commercial drone include use of drones for generating video tours for customers in real estate; drone based surveillance; drones for environmental monitoring; drones for oil & gas pipeline inspections; agricultural drones for crop spraying; drone based same-day delivery of e-commerce orders; drones for land surveying, search and rescue; drones for emergency response services; and drones for road construction and other infrastructure projects. Another new and fairly new use of drones is in pandemic management. Corona Virus a. k. a COVID-19 is poised to go down into history as the most transmissive infectious disease known to mankind. As the disease continues to tear through geographic boundaries ripping countries, their healthcare systems & financial markets apart, a new futuristic technology is finding its mojo. Alongside the outbreak, drones are being deployed to help with this contagious & hard to contain disease that needs minimal human-to-human interaction. Drones are helping out by disinfecting cities; carrying medical & quarantine supplies; population monitoring for virus spread; policing for quarantine adherence; & communication with isolated patients. As drones power the efforts for disease containment, their use is growing bringing their safe operation into the spotlight and this is where UTM steps in.
While the many benefits of drones are well understood, the technology also brings a fair share of risks. These include increased risk of collision with other aircraft; drones alias UAVs have a small form factor and low profile electromagnetic signature escapes traditional radar detection; increased use of drones for smuggling drugs across borders and for other illegal activities; development of weaponized drones and rise in drone terrorism and for reconnaissance which is already becoming a reality. Even for legalized uses, drone traffic management, drone flight permissions and monitoring system is paramount to safety. UAVs a. k. a drones, small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) share the same airspace with commercial aviation. If not managed properly, safety issues are likely to escalate thwarting opportunities for commercial drone usage. Therefore there is a critical need for drones to fly safely "beyond line of sight" alongside other aircraft. Drones can cause a safety risk for aircraft and this is already raising concerns in the wake of a sudden spurt in the number of events experienced in major countries worldwide where drones have endangered the safety of an aircraft. In the U. K. dangerously close encounters rose by over 35% over the last couple of years. A drone coming into contract with an aircraft can result in aircraft crashes endearing hundreds of passenger lives. The need of the hour is therefore developing innovative technologies that detect, deter, and guide drones and make skies safer.