The innovation of this technology is quickly moving from defense into applications as diverse as train inspection and firefighting. While applications and regulatory controls develop, companies were open and collaborative in discussing how performance, cost and volume requirements will develop. Across applications, these UAVs will depend upon high quality IR and visible optics.
Meeting a new demand
Thermal applications are a large contributor to the rapid growth of unmanned technology. The development of viable UAV commercial applications will depend on low-cost, high performing IR optics. With well-thought optical assembly design and approach to optical manufacturing such as optical molding, UAV companies can meet performance and volume demands while achieving cost targets.
Molding for high volume
In traditional markets that use high end optics 3-5 new products will be introduced in a year. UAV's speed of progression is pushing out 10-15 products every year. As the industry shows no sign of slowing down, optics companies will have to respond to meet the demand for high volume.
Collaborating to succeed
With so many unknowns—regulatory environment, application environments, price points and performance demands—collaboration is required to establish products that prove use case and speed adoption. Three of the Xponential conference keynote speakers highlighted the importance of combining existing technologies into new applications to create a brand new ecosystem of technology and innovation. Honour Optics is a proven partner in IR optics, and used this opportunity to learn and advise on emerging UAV applications.