When it comes to new players in the drone industry, some are clearly entrepreneurs looking for the next big thing, whatever that may be. Others, like founder Amit Ganjoo of ANRA Technologies, have a resume that reads like the job requirements for a drone company’s entire technical team, all in one guy.
ANRA Technologies offers a platform independent drone operations solution. DRONEOSS™ provides command and control, fleet management, cloud storage, flight planning, data analytics, and data sharing. It’s a feature-rich solution, designed with the influence of over 20 years of deep aviation and telecom understanding. DRONELIFE connected with ANRA’s Founder and CEO, Amit Ganjoo, to talk about his methodology and what he sees in store for the drone industry.
Ganjoo has over 20 years of aviation, telecom and wireless experience in both the federal and the commercial space. He’s a licensed pilot, following a lifelong passion in aviation. He builds experimental aircraft. Until December, he acted as the co-chair for FCC’s Technical Advisory Council (TAC) for 5G and IoT, which included ground and airborne autonomous vehicles. He was the Director of Engineering at Ericsson Federal, providing telecom solutions to Federal Government, where he was the recipient of the Athena Award.
Deployed as part of the U.S.S. Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group, he was chief system architect for Navy 4G LTE Sea Pilot, delivering a one of a kind turn-key, secure, unmanned airborne/afloat autonomous 4G LTE Network with applications to directly support the war fighter. He architected the first ever approved classified security architecture for 4G LTE in line with NSA Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) framework, approved for operational deployment in DOD in 2012.
And because he likes to be busy, Ganjoo teaches as an adjunct professor at the George Mason University, sharing his passion for engineering by teaching in the School of Engineering. With ANRA Technologies, Ganjoo and his leadership team of 5 other seasoned executives may have found a platform to make use of everything they’ve learned along the way.
DL: What was your inspiration for getting into the drone industry?
Communications and data management is what I know based on my professional background – and aviation has been my passion since I was a kid. ANRA brings both of these together.
I worked with some drone programs in the DoD and saw the immense potential; as well as gaps for the commercial space. I founded ANRA to fill the gaps.
DL: You wrote a piece for your company about the 3 Pillars for Commercial Drones: mission management, traffic management, and data management. How does that play into your product design?
That is definitely a core part of the whole philosophy. Commercial drones need to deal with all of those issues to see widespread adoption. Traffic managment is a big issue currently – we’re participating in ICAO’s UTM program, and will be presenting at the Drone Enable UAS Industry Symposium in Montreal.
DL: Data security is a big issue in the industry now – do you see that becoming a more integral part of drone platforms going forward?
Yes, definitely! And it is not about the drone itself but the workflow and data management.
As drones and other IoT applications in general become more widespread, we will need new service delivery models that involve new actors in the ecosystem. Virtualization and cloud infrastructures will be leveraged to provide flexibility, scalability and the ability to deliver richer services quickly. Data access wireless networks will need to provide users and other third parties access via APIs to for granular control and security of the services. This paradigm shift will enable innovative capabilities but also create complex security challenges.
DL: What industries do you think are currently the biggest adopters of drone technology?
What we’re seeing is rapid adoption in 3 verticals: Critical Infrastructure Inspection and Monitoring, Construction, and Insurance. There is a big time and money savings in those verticals which justify the investment and are a great way to measure the ROI. Law Enforcement and Disaster Response are other high growth areas.
DL: What industries do you think will be new areas for expansion in the drone industry?
I believe long term it will be more autonomous transportation systems; but in the near term you will see rapid growth in the areas I mentioned before.
DL: What technological changes or advances do you think are going to change the drone industry?
AI and Machine learning would be the two I would place my bet on.
In the drone industry, competition is ramping up as the industry grows and enterprise adoption increases. But with Amit Ganjoo’s technical expertise, his experience as a pilot and involvement with DoD, FCC, and ICAO’s UTM projects, Anra Technologies looks like a company that could come out on top.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.