By Piyush Chakraborty, Officiating Head, Electronics Sector Skill Council of India (ESSCI)
There was a time when Drone, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) was just a concept, and today it has gained so much traction that it is marking its presence felt in several verticals. Also, the pace at which this amazing tech is evolving, soon we will be able to see a very clear line dividing the time without drones and the time after its adoption. The transformation would be amazing.
With this skyrocketing popularity of drone’s number of companies in the field of drones and UAVs are also in increasing, creating several job opportunities for all the drone tech enthusiasts. Technological advances in electronics and software control have enabled miniaturized systems, sensors and devices to such an extent that can be accommodated in a reduced place of a drone.
So, if you are someone who is passionate about drones and want to work in this field, then this article will give you a new avenue for career opportunities:
What is drone?
Drone technology covers everything from the aerodynamics of the drone, materials in the manufacture of the physical UAV, to the circuit boards, chipset and software, which are the brains of the drone.The drone technique has emerged as a boon during the Corona Pandemic. Many Indian states especially Gujarat, Telangana, Maharashtra were used the drone for different purposes during Lockdown, whether for monitoring an area, sanitizing or thermal scanning, it has proved to be an excellent tool tech in all places. In view of this, there is a great possibility of increasing its utility in future.
Indian Drone Market Size
The Indian UAV market has grown over a period of time. According to the 6Wreserach consulting firm, the Indian drone market size is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 18% by 2023. Drones are at the forefront of the new-age generation technological shift and so, many big corporate companies are investing heavily in the drone space. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International predicts that there will be more than lac new jobs in unmanned aircraft and drone technology by 2025. New drone jobs will be created across a wide span of industries. In a recent report, FICCI and EY projected that the value of the Indian UAV industry and the market would be around US $885.7 million by 2021. The widening possibilities for which UAVs can be used thanks to their flexible and rapidly evolving software and hardware, has led to their employment in a variety of fields.
Brain of the Drones: Electronic Devices
Any drone cannot be functional without electronic devices. The main parts that make up the control unit of a drone are Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), Compass, Navigation Board, Electronic Speed Controller (ESC), motors, power supply etc. Through the IMU, the drone knows its acceleration, displacement and therefore their positions at any time, using devices known as accelerometers, gyroscopes or magnetometers. Whereas, ESC controls the motors or drives engine with the necessary speed to ensure the flight and perform the actions required by the control button.
There are other electronic units that will interact with these, such as power supply control units, units of antennas for control signal reception, gimbal control units or Camera Stabilizer units, vision positioning units for both stabilization and for obstacle avoidance, camera control. The coexistence of all electronic units, and the interaction between them makes the drones sector continually evolves, allowing aircraft to provide these new capabilities.
Job opportunity in Drone segment
Drone technology, however, makes it easier to capture visual information and utilize data through enhanced computer models. UAVs offer a great market opportunity for equipment manufacturers, investors, and business service providers.
Employment opportunity area would be passive infrastructure (ground, training centre), active infrastructure (Drone hardware and software), drone services and maintenance (customer support, call centres), Data analytics, Pilot/operator, engineer, Link engineer, and some sectors which are connected to the drone. Things are getting automated which is changing the existing job profiles and leading to upskilling. Many of the things which required human intervention are now getting automated. At the same time, new types of jobs are emerging.
Requirement of skill in Drone Technology
In view of future employment prospects and career opportunities in electronics and allied sector, Electronics Sector Skills Council of India (ESSCI) envisions to enable a world class electronics manufacturing industry with an ecosystem for skill development and enhance employability of the large number of Indian human resource. Different qualification packs are being developed by the council to reduce the skill gap so that youth can become skilled and able to get employment in the industry. Recently, ESSCI has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IG Drones, a leading enterprise drone solution provider, to explore collaboration opportunities in Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) training. ESSCI has learnt that with a fast-growing sector for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), India is estimated to develop a multibillion-dollar industry of drones in the next decade. ESSCI cited many factors for the growth of the Indian drone market including the draft Drone Rules 2021, which were released in July 2021 by the Ministry of civil aviation. ESSCI is planning to establish a Centre of Excellence (COE) and Model Training Centre partnering and promoting industry aligned NSQF based programs with industries at various academic institutions, universities training partners.
Future of Drone Technology
The drone ecosystem within India is currently host to only a handful of companies that are manufacturing and catering to the consumers. In the next few years, India will be the largest importer of drones worldwide. It will also leave many countries behind in terms of usage. Drones have now started being used in industries on large scales. This aerial vehicle will replace the need for manpower and will create new employment opportunities for people in this new area. These jobs will not only be in the form of remote pilots, but there will also be a dire need of skilled people on the front like drone engineering, operations, monitoring, sales, and marketing.