Drone operators may soon be looking skyward for a one-stop solution for cloud-based information management — at least that’s the plan for a Portland-based tech firm’s latest software launch.
Billed as the first of its kind for commercial drone operators, Skyward is an integrated UAV information management system and the company’s announcement of the latest feature-rich package at Interdrone is creating a buzz across the industry.
Described as the key infrastructure for powering the “global aerial robotics network,” Skyward’s cloud-based platform will integrate a drone airspace map with flight planning tools and a digital system of record. The system helps drone operators comply with current standards and insurance requirements while making flight and airspace management data easily accessible to drone manufacturers, software developers, federal regulators and pilots.
“In the last year, I’ve seen the commercial drone market evolve rapidly, with over 1,400 FAA grants to date,” said Skyward CEO Jonathan Evans said. “Skyward gives those operators comprehensive tools to access the sky and meet their business objectives. Skyward is committed to powering the next generation of aviation.”
The venture capital world has shown a high level of confidence in Evans’ vision. Skyward recently announced a $4.1 million funding round with participation from Draper Associates, Founders Co-Op, Norwest Venture Partners, Techstars Ventures, Verizon Ventures and Voyager Capital.
The company’s latest release includes a drone airspace map that simplifies complex aviation rules to show operators where to fly as well as flight planning and logging tools configured for specific requirements and a digital system of record that manages personnel, drones, and equipment. In addition, the solution adds online storage for regulatory, insurance, and operational documents and support from regulatory and operational experts for approvals, compliance and reporting.
Industry leaders were quick to embrace the potential of Skyward’s inclusive package. “Hawk Aerial needs a system to schedule, track and document our flight operations,” Kevin Gould, Hawk Aerial CEO, said in a statement. “Skyward is … comprehensive, easy to use and intuitive. Skyward allows us to conform to the requirements of our 333 and COAs, and also provides critical operating data to track performance and profitably run our business. Skyward is key to our future growth,” he added.
“We’ve recognized the overwhelming need for a complete flight management system,” said Terry Miller, President of Transport Risk Management,” a leading UAV insurer. “Skyward developed the solution we’ve been searching for, and we will be incorporating it into our insurance underwriting process.”
Users can sign up for a free 6 week trial at https://app.skyward.io