Exploring the Present and Future of the Commercial Drone Industry: Part III

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Being an emerging technology, the commercial drone industry is constantly shifting and changing, but 2020 has been particularly marked by significant changes. Companies from all over the drone ecosystem are dealing with new challenges and opportunities like never before. Each experience is providing businesses with important new insights and understandings on how to deal with this industry as it is today, and how it is shaping up to be in the future. With the desire to shed some light on those insights, ideas, and experiences, Commercial UAV News will be bringing together panelists from all corners of the industry to discuss current and future trends, ideas, and strategies in a multipart series.  


Douglas Spotted Eagle, Chief Revenue Officer, Autel Robotics

Douglas’ role as Director of Education for Sundance Media Group, Inc. has inspired him to author several books and training videos while serving as an advisor and guide for videographers, software manufacturers and broadcasters. As an accomplished aerial photographer who thriving within the adrenaline-filled world of fast-action videography, Douglas has received Grammy, Emmy, DuPont, Peabody, and many other awards.

Douglas has a long history in Aviation; he was the first Fédération Aéronautique Internationale judge in the USA, a USPA National Judge, with ratings as a USPA Instructor/Examiner and one of the few Safety and Training Advisors at Large in CONUS, in addition to sport pilot ratings. With over 3,500 hours of flight time, over 6,000 skydives, and having completed numerous aerial cinematography projects, Douglas has an intimate knowledge of the FAA FARs and FSIMs. 

Douglas incorporates his years of imaging and aviation experience into best practices for everything drone/UAV/UAS. Douglas is a frequent speaker and consults on UAV cinematography, public safety implementation of UAS, commercial and infrastructural UAV applications, UAV risk management, night UAS flight, aerial security systems to ensure pilots clearly understand the FAA regulations. 

Flight, skydiving, video, and music are Douglas’ passions.  He was one of the original founders of SMG in 1994.

Michael Healander, President & CEO, Airspace Link

Michael is President & CEO of Airspace Link, with a mission to help communities safely manage drone integration while building new economic development opportunities for businesses and citizens. He is a business leader, entrepreneur and innovator of new ideas and business processes within larger organizations as well as startups. He works closely with executive teams and key leaders to craft and communicate the company’s vision, and then transform that vision into a long-term strategy for pioneering new markets and opportunities. Michael is identified as a "corporate athlete", a “social geek” and engineer who thrives on understanding the inner working of things. These technical abilities provide the cognitive tools for applying engineering to technology and business. He uses his adept communication skills to further the success of his clients, people and products. 

Yuri Pederiy, co-founder and CTO, UAVita

Yuri is co-founder and CTO of UAVita Systems SA, dedicated to developing large scale fixed wing unmanned systems for long-range and heavy payload missions that enable new application scenarios for businesses. He brings together the best practices from manned aviation combining them with cutting edge unmanned technologies thru strategic partnerships. Yuri works closely with industry decision makers to discover unmet needs where unmanned technologies can create incremental value, he gathers strategic stakeholders to develop unique solutions based on UAVita’s technology. 

Tony “Pooch” Pucciarella, CEO, AlarisPro

Tony “Pooch” Pucciarella is a retired U.S. Navy Commander, serving as a Patrol Plane Mission Commander, Operational Test Pilot, VIP Pilot, and Aviation Engineering Duty Officer (AEDO). Before starting his career in the Navy, Tony received an aeronautical and astronautical engineering degree from The Ohio State University. He later received an MBA from Loyola University Maryland’s Executive Program. He is certified as an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) and is rated in aircraft ranging from the iconic B-25 to the fastest business jets flying today. Tony is an active multi-rotor and fixed-wing UAS Pilot with extensive experience in small and large UAS operations. He served as the Airspace Integration Certification Lead for the Navy’s Triton UAS program and led the development of the program’s safety case for Sense and Avoid (SAA). He supports ongoing rulemaking and standards development as a member of the FAA’s UAST and ASTM’s F-38 Committee. With an established background in manned and unmanned aviation, engineering, aircraft systems integration and operational testing, Tony identified the critical needs gap in the UAS Industry for fleet management based on manned aviation standards. He assembled a team of highly skilled individuals in 2013 to design the architecture for what became AlarisPro – the most comprehensive UAS Operations, Maintenance and Fleet Management program available.


Danielle Gagne, Editorial Analyst, Commercial UAV News

Danielle comes to Commercial UAV News from an editorial background in higher education publishing where she edited books on every topic from financial risk management to nanotechnology and morphing wing technology. During that time, she reported and conveyed the business needs and expectations between all points of her organization and the technology team, working closely with IT development. This skillset led her to Diversified Communications and the commercial UAV industry, where she is excited to be able continue to report important technology news and developments to a wider audience.