Airbus Debuts Drone-Focused Aerial Imagery Business

Airbus has launched a new start-up dubbed Airbus Aerial. With bases in the U.S. and Europe, Airbus Aerial’s initial business will focus on developing new imagery services combining data from drones, satellites, high-altitude aircraft and other sources.

The U.S. unit will be headquartered in Atlanta and led by Jesse Kallman, an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry expert with more than 12 years of experience. His experience includes research at Georgia Tech, federal policy at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), commercial UAS at Airware, and advocacy with groups such as the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Kallman has served as an advisor to executives at Fortune 500 companies, members of Congress, senior officials at the FAA and White House, and Silicon Valley venture capital groups, says Airbus.

“Drones are only a piece of a much larger picture for us,” says Kallman. “Airbus Aerial brings together a variety of aerospace technologies – including drones and satellites – combines them in a common software infrastructure and applies industry-specific analytics to deliver tailored solutions to our customers’ biggest challenges.”

Airbus Aerial says it is targeting a range of commercial industries, such as insurance, agriculture, oil and gas, and utilities, as well as state and local governments.

“Through Airbus Aerial, we are uniquely positioned and fully committed to advancing the commercial UAS industry. It is bringing together partners from across the industry – ranging from vehicle manufacturers, data analytics companies, service providers and others – to enable data-focused services at large scale,” comments Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. “Using an integrated combination of assets, from UAS platforms to satellite imagery, Airbus Aerial is rolling out a wide range of new imagery services. In the future, additional pillars of the Airbus Aerial activities will be in the area of cargo drone services, as well as providing connectivity via aerial assets.”

The company notes it is recruiting for positions in software development, data analytics and drone operations, among other roles. Airbus Aerial is also looking for new partnerships to help bring these new services to market.

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