Today's announcement by Trimble that they had acquired Gatewing, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) startup, signals a move into the nascent civilian UAV marketplace. This is a significant move as the U.S. government moves to open the skies to UAVs and integrate them into the National Airspace System. Trimble is looking to capitalize on the potential of low altitude remote sensing platforms that could reduce the cost and increase frequency of image acquisition. According to Trimble:
“The combination of UAVs and low-altitude photogrammetry as an image collection platform opens up new opportunities for surveyors to use aerial imagery for the rapid acquisition of high-density geospatial data,” said Anders Rhodin, director of Trimble’s Survey Business. “We are excited to add Gatewing’s unique aerial mapping system to Trimble’s portfolio of survey solutions.”
I see this as one of the more important moves by a company that seeks to exand its market presence beyond surveying equipment and into remote sensing.