Drone business in San Diego
They are used by the government, by the military, by the police, by video production companies like Pixel, and by hobbyists. They are drones, also known as UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), and San Diego is one of the hubs of drone development, design, manufacturing, production and distribution in the U.S. Several hundred (if not more) San Diego workers make their living in some aspect of the drone industry.
Many of the drone-related jobs locally have links to DOD and the military, but there has been a large increase in jobs related to the smaller UAVs being sold to individuals for what are considered hobby purposes. In addition there are a number of businesses involved in services tangentially tied to drones, such as maintenance, customization, programming and repair.
Most San Diego-based UAV companies do not assemble the finished product, but rather manufacture and sell specific pieces of the aerial devices, or are involved in GPS and other computing aspects of the drone’s function. In addition many of the firms provide training for using the drones.
Here is a list of just a portion of the San Diego businesses involved in the drone industry, along with their specialty in the field:
- 3dRobotics: development and engineering
- Datron World Communications: digital and electronic components
- General Atomics: manufacturing and deployment of military flyers
- Go Professional Cases: custom cases for drones
- Innov8tive Designs: electric UAV parts and turnkey complete drones for surveillance
- Kratos Defense & Security Solutions: development
- Raytheon: development
- SAIC: underwater drones and armed UAVs
- ViaSat: communication parts and GPS
There are a host of other companies that are planning to join the drone industry, but await the publishing of FAA regulations and laws controlling the use and flight of hobby and commercial aerial remote-controlled devices.