San Diego’s been dubbed the “hub of the U.S. drone industry.” For our next quest, we want to take a closer look.
Two leading corporate players – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and Northrop Grumman – as well as several smaller companies are based here. And a National University System study that found that Department of Defense contracts for unmanned devices alone contributed at least $1.3 billion to the regional economy in 2011.
But as you might expect from devices that can fly unencumbered, record people’s actions and complete tasks as adorable as delivering a wedding ring and as grim as carrying out covert strikes on foreign targets, there’s plenty of controversy and outrage that could shape the industry’s future here.
Yet analysts mostly believe San Diego’s drone industry will continue to grow and that drones – also called unmanned aerial vehicles – will be used for more and more commercial endeavors in the future.