What are some issues that resellers face when sourcing and selling drones?
With the advent of the availability, affordability, and ease of use of small, unmanned aircraft systems, a new market is coming into fruition. Most people have heard of drones in one way or another, often from the perspective of a small drone with a camera attached to it for use in photography. What happened in the drone space was that these new, cheaper, more affordable aircraft were being purchased and used in more and more places. Eventually, these, often Chinese, products ended up being used in data-sensitive applications. For example, military, government, security, etc. This gave rise to new cybersecurity concerns, which in turn created a new demand for an evolved product.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a high-level, set of federal laws passed every year targeting these growing cybersecurity concerns. In order for a product to be NDAA compliant, it must not be produced by a set list of Chinese manufacturers. Additionally, this extends beyond drones into chipsets, cameras, displays, and other technology.
In the drone solutions space, there now exists two new certifications: Blue and Green UAS.
A Blue UAS must meet strict hardware and operating requirements to satisfy cybersecurity demands. Some examples include video transmission encryption, aircraft operating chipset, and internet connection. Blue UAS are specifically designed to meet the cybersecurity requirements for DOD and DOI applications. An example of a Blue UAS Exertis Almo carries is the IF1200 from Inspired Flight.
A Green UAS is a subset of cybersecurity certification offered by AUVSI. Green UAS is designed to encompass drones that may not necessarily be manufactured in the US, but rather in allied countries. The Green UAS certification follows closely behind the DIU Blue UAS certification 2.0 program. Meaning, the Green UAS certified aircraft are essentially the same as Blue minus their country of origin.
With the rapid advancement, availability, and affordability of drones, the industry is evolving quickly. For applications with high levels of cybersecurity demands, often seen in government and military projects, the drone space now has a clear and emerging industry certification. What started off as NDAA, has now grown out into Blue and Green UAS.