Posted on 08/23/13 by Sindy Yeh
Quite a few Arlington companies had the opportunity to showcase their work recently at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) annual conference at the Washington Convention Center. (www.auvsi.org) AUVSI is an international association serving the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) industry, and it is headquartered in Arlington’s Shirlington area. The industry is a growing one, and as I saw when attending the conference, Arlington is uniquely positioned to attract this industry with both military and commercial applications.
For those unfamiliar with UAS aircraft, they are also referred to as “remotely piloted aircraft,” or sometimes as “drones.” Basically it is an aircraft without a human pilot on board, but instead operate on pre-programmed routes or by following commands from pilot-operated ground stations. Most of AUVSI’s members are affiliated with the defense and homeland security sector, hence, the association is based in Arlington, close to the Pentagon. It was very interesting to walk the trade show floor and to see unmanned vehicles, large and small, on display. Some of the UAV’s are 3 - 5 feet in length, but I was impressed by the helicopter-sized UAV manufactured by Sikorsky. It was huge. It was interesting to learn that some UAVs are remotely controlled via satellites by pilots located 7,500 miles away!
As I talked with the representatives of the Arlington companies were exhibiting at the show, which included Battle Space Flight Services, National Defense Industrial Association, Safran USA, MCR, Riverside Research, SRI International and DRS Technologies, I was excited to hear about the expansion of the industry and the opportunities that may develop for these Arlington companies. It’s certainly a field to watch closely.Topic: BIG Update