As featured in ADS Advance, Peter Heap, senior consultant, aerospace and defence division at Jonathan Lee Recruitment, explains why the unmanned air vehicle (UAV) sector provides opportunities for ex-forces technicians and engineers.
Commercial application of UAV
A pioneer in the sector, the UK has a number of specialist companies working in the UAV industry across the full spectrum of applications. As a recruitment consultancy that specialises in engineering and manufacturing, we have seen a rapid rise in the global market for UAVs being matched by demand for specialist engineers to design, develop and maintain fleets.
One of the key drivers in commercial markets adopting UAV is safety, to remove pilots from hazardous situations, however, they are proving valuable in an increasingly diverse range of applications.
Traditionally used in the military, it is not surprising that the commercial sector sees ex-military personnel as a natural fit for emerging civilian roles. The requirement for UAV specialist skill-sets is set to intensify as UAV penetrates new applications and markets.
From planning search and rescue missions in isolated geographical and remote locations through to everyday applications, UAV technology is being adopted to an array of industries. Applications include defence and border control, recording and monitoring coastal erosion, analysing geographical changes, planning flood defences, supporting inspection to predicting maintenance programmes in agriculture, forestry, construction, energy and transport infrastructure.
From fixed wing, rotary blade and hybrid systems, through to sophisticated imaging and data gathering, UAVs are being developed to adapt to a wide range of practical applications. These include specific tasks such as crop spraying, 3D scanning of bridges and structures or even helping to identify and tackle forest fires.