From military missions to public safety applications to infrastructure inspections, drones have many applications across government. While the technology is ready for all of these applications (and more), there are complex regulatory and legal issues that are holding up their widespread use. These issues include airspace regulations (for the safety of manned and unmanned flights), privacy concerns (related to on-board cameras), and cybersecurity concerns.
While these issues are being discussed in the courts and across regulatory bodies, state and federal level agencies are taking steps to integrate drone usage into their processes. For federal agencies, drones are available on the GSA Schedule. State and local organizations are piloting a drone-as-a-service model that allows groups to use drones for specific-use cases without having to invest in the purchase and maintenance of the hardware.
There are a number of upcoming events that address both the technology and the policies that impact current and future drone usage.
- C4ISRNET Conference (May 6, 2020; Arlington, VA) - This event brings senior-level military, government, and industry leaders together to discuss future battlefield technologies and ideas to shape the Defense Department's next conflict. The event focuses on new strategies and capabilities in mobility, command and control, communications, artificial intelligence, unmanned systems and sensors, networks, and geospatial intelligence.
- Military Robotics and Autonomous Systems USA (June 22-23, 2020; Arlington, VA) - Land-based drones and other robotic land systems are the focus of this event. This is a global meeting point for the U.S. ground robotics community, key allied partners, and RAS thought leaders to explore new opportunities and challenges in this rapidly changing field.
- Commercial UAV Expo Americas (September 15-17, 2020; Last Vegas, NV) - This event showcases the UAV industry though exhibition, demos, and discussions. It provides a glimpse into the world of urban air mobility applicable across government agencies.
- Counter UAS Winter Summit (Event Postponed, Date TBD) - This event will bring together military and industry to discuss the latest technology designed to combat drone threats while improving regulatory issues. This summit will look at securing airports, drone swarms, directed energy weapons, EW systems, S&T challenges, and counter terrorism.
Let us know where you are hearing discussion of drone applications and regulation. Share your thoughts in the comments. Looking for other government events? Visit GovEvents today.