The sky is open for business! Skyward provides software and support for drone operators who want to run a safe, professional business while staying in compliance with US and global regulations. The company is building an information management platform that powers the global aerial robotics network starting with the tools commercial UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) operators need to access the sky today. This includes airspace maps; flight planning and logging; personnel and equipment management; and support from regulatory and aviation experts. The goal that commercial drone operators, regulators and insurers are all working toward is safety. Regulators and insurers across the world need a uniform system of record: the “who, what, when, where and how” for flight operations. Skyward is the first integrated solution to address this need for drones and makes it easy for operators to track the specific information and airspace data needed for business, insurance or regulatory requirements.
Access to the network starts with the map. It is a detailed airspace analysis (ie. where to fly) and flight plan (how to fly). Skyward’s drone airspace map is built from the ground up and simplifies complex aviation rules, thus making it easier for drone operators to know where to fly and then plan their operation. Skywards’ mapping system includes GIS database with global coverage, airspace/groundspace analysis, integrated flight planning and logging, fleet and personnel management, OEM integrations and compliance reporting features. Operators can create and save an area of operation, add hazards and instructions for the pilot and attach customized maps to the flight plan. Using the digital logbook, pilots can store essential records and easily generate reports to improve business operations while meeting regulatory requirements. Planning a flight is easy with an intuitive map and toolkit that calls attention to specific areas for your pilots (hazards, points of interest), analyzes airspace and ID’s airport contact zones, restricted areas and flight restrictions. The digital system of record organizes drones, equipment and people to track training, maintenance, battery performance, flight hours, et al. Online storage provides one secure place for important documentation (licenses, regulatory approvals, proof of insurance, etc). Skyward users will be certified and potentially eligible for lower insurance rates. Skyward’s Professional Services organization is a dedicated team of experts that can create custom plans to assist your commercial UAV business to meet and maintain regulatory and insurance compliance.
The industry surrounding the use of drones-particularly commercial applications for UAVs- is poised for exponential growth. Powerhouse consumer/technology companies like Amazon Prime Air, Google X, GoPro and others have a major stake in this game. The FAA, which allows commercial uses by granting Section 333 exemptions selectively up until now, is expected to issue final rules in June, 2016 on full scale commercial use of drones which will have a significant effect on this market. Uses for drones equipped with smaller/lighter/higher resolution camera technology spans several industries including agriculture, energy/utilities, building/construction, real estate, photography/videography, law enforcement/emergency services and of course logistics/delivery of products. Applications include: aerial surveying, mapping, data collection, news/media coverage, precision agriculture/crop scouting, powerline/energy infrastructure inspection/detection/maintenance, search & rescue/police & fire surveillance/aerial assistance, real estate/resort/hotel advertising/videography and feature filmmaking. All could realize financial benefits from utilizing UAV technology, compared to using expensive/capital-intensive commercially piloted aircraft.
The Skyward information management platform serves all of these verticals, and is built as a horizontal infrastructure service for the entire commercial drone industry.
It’s an exciting time to join Skyward; the company is backed by Voyager Capital, Draper & Associates, Verizon Ventures, Toivo Annus (former Skype Head of Engineering), Norwest Ventures, Techstars
Ventures, and others. Skyward is also working with major OEMs to embed its mapping platform solutions into their UAV product offerings. The company has raised $5.7M to date, including a $4.1M seed expansion round in April, 2015. The company is based on the riverfront in downtown Portland, OR, has 26 employees with a significant growth trajectory planned.
The qualified candidate will have the following: