What are your biggest goals in the field of unmanned systems over the next few years?
Kutta is bringing key technology we have been developing with the help of the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program and R&D efforts into the unmanned system marketplace.
Kutta’s Unified Ground Control Station (UGCS-178) software is STANAG 4586 Level of Interoperability (LOI-5) capable, utilizes the UAS Control Segment (UCS) architecture, and can be easily tailored to unique vehicle specifications and delivered in a variety of hardware platforms based on our customer’s needs. To our knowledge, we are the only company to provide a complete STANAG 4586 Class C CUCS that supports the Army and Navy DOD Interoperability profiles. Our company has a core competency bringing DO-178B/C systems to the market from our heritage in manned aviation.
Our biggest goal in the next few years is to harmonize our series of products focused on unmanned systems with the level of rigor brought by leveraging the standards in place in the manned aviation sector. This combination of software and hardware is poised to deliver the advanced functionality currently being demanded by the next-generation unmanned system operators and help push forth robustness in both the military and commercial market sectors.
Where do you see the industry going in the next decade?
Kutta foresees the unmanned industry continuing to expand in the aerospace and defense industry and gaining acceptance in the commercial and consumer markets, with small aerial systems leading the way in the next five years. Integration into the National Air Space (NAS) will be key for successful transition of these systems, and Kutta is optimistic that the Ground Based Sense and Avoid (GBSAA) technologies currently being developed will be one of a series of enabling technologies that will help companies achieve this milestone.
With the interest of large commercial entities, the integration of UAS into the NAS will become a more pressing issue. Their interest will help bring forward both the political, technical and societal change that will be required to truly achieve the capabilities sought in the civilian market. While there are target markets and missions that are seemingly well defined, like agriculture, film and perhaps package delivery, we believe the most interesting applications of this technology are probably not imagined yet. We continue to be encouraged by the interest of the commercial market and believe that the most beneficial impacts of unmanned systems to society have yet to be realized. We are hopeful that, working together with these new partners, the industry can continue to provide new and exciting capabilities to the world.
What role do you see your company playing in that future?
At our core, we are a company that believes in developing safe, reliable and robust products. We believe that our experience in the manned-aviation industry has uniquely prepared Kutta to provide the unmanned industry with the next generation of products that have the rigor required to satisfy the requirements needed to push ahead with integration into our National Airspace System. Kutta continues to provide a diverse set of innovative products to both the military and the commercial marketplace as it continues to mature.
We are excited to be on the cutting edge of several important aspects of unmanned system technology that include a mature Manned and Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) capability, while also developing innovative products that help mitigate communication latency and the challenges associated with effectively coordinating multiple unmanned systems.
For us, the most interesting element of all of these technologies and products is how to best apply those to new missions, new innovations, and contribute to the overwhelming success of our nation’s security and making a positive societal impact.
What do you see as major challenges to the unmanned systems industry?
There are many challenges that the unmanned systems industry faces. These issues range in focus from the technical to political and regulatory to the perception that society has of the possibilities that unmanned systems can provide.
The very interesting aspect of our future as an industry is how we identify and address these challenges while continuing to seek broader acceptance and a merging of commercial and military technologies. In some ways, there have been two parallel trajectories that unmanned systems have taken, with very little intersection until recently.
The first path was the military market which has effectively developed a similar, but largely distinct ecosystem of innovation from the second path in the civilian, commercial marketplace. It has only been within the last five years that the public has become aware, on a massive scale what unmanned systems really are and how they are being utilized. The very important part of our next steps as an industry is to decide how to move ahead and determine the way to merge these increasingly redundant but distinct ecosystems.
There is a large amount of precedence for how to transition military technology in a manner that is beneficial to society without compromising our national security. This transition can be found in commercial aviation, space exploration, medical technology and any number of areas that our society has been improved by a transition of technology that was first born in the military. In many ways, the best method to assure our national security is to aid this transition. Simply put, the world has and will continue to develop unmanned systems. We, as a country, will be the preeminent developer of these systems and thus maintain our expert understanding of their capabilities or other nations will seek to fill that role. Working with our commercial partners and merging these parallel paths is the shortest and most beneficial method to accelerating solutions to the multifaceted challenges that face our industry.
What makes AUVSI membership attractive to your company?
AUVSI membership allows Kutta to remain connected to a fast-paced industry and provides opportunities to promote our latest technologies and products to stakeholders looking to solve the challenging problems facing unmanned systems. AUVSI membership gives Kutta an international presence that promotes a consistent brand capable of reaching key decision makers and end users. AUVSI is an integral part of our industry that provides a very effective method of advocacy and awareness that will be central to the future of unmanned systems.