On 9 April 2019 the second edition of Unmanned Systems Asia opened its doors in Singapore, the exhibition being co-located with Rotorcraft Asia at the Changi Exhibition Centre, allowing the convergence of rotorcraft and Unmanned systems technologies under the same roof. Far from being a defence-only event, the Unmanned Systems and Rotorcraft Asia looks also at transport issues as well as the use of unmanned technologies in everyday life.
The aggregate number of exhibitors of the two events is of nearly 100, according to the Senior Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng in his opening speech. He underlined the increasing use of drones in many areas, underlining that Singaporean authorities as the National Environment Agency and the Land Transport Authority are already using unmanned air vehicles in their daily routines. He also mentioned the trial carried out in March that saw a world’s first: the delivery by means of a drone in real-time port conditions of small, time-critical items to working vessels at anchorage. He also highlighted the co-funding of four projects under a Call-For-Proposal for innovative use of UAS launched in July 2018 by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).
A further step will be made with the launch of “The Singapore UAS Community” by the Association of Aerospace Industries (Singapore), with the support of CAAS and Enterprise Singapore, that will include aerospace companies, start-ups, and institutes of higher learning.
As all technologies, also that of unmanned systems carries some risks, and Singaporean authorities, CAAS in particular, are identifying specific areas where tests can be carried out, something already done in February this year when ST Engineering Aerospace tested the DroNet UAS. Further areas are being identified to allow testing of electric Vertical-Take-Off-and-Landing vehicles (eVTOLs), or commonly known as air taxis, which trials will allow a better understanding of potential risks of those systems, that are expected to start commercial mobility services in 2025.
The 2019 edition of Unmanned Systems Asia features a live demonstration area as well as a startup showcase, where the newly formed small enterprises, which usually carry revolutionary ideas, can exhibit their products to potential industrial partners.
Photos by Joseph Roukoz