Airbus is getting into the aerial imaging business – specifically, the Big Data end of things. It announced a new venture, called Airbus Aerial, at the AUVSI Xponential trade show and conference in Dallas. It will start with imaging, but has ambitions that extend into the world of drone delivery.


The immediate priority will be new imagery services. And those images will come not only from drones, but also from satellites, high-altitude aircraft and other sources.

“Through Airbus Aerial, we are uniquely positioned and fully committed to advancing the commercial Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) industry,” said Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space.

“It is bringing together partners from across the industry – ranging from vehicle manufacturers, data analytics companies, service providers and others – to enable data-focused services at large scale.

“Using an integrated combination of assets, from UAS platforms to satellite imagery, Airbus Aerial is rolling out a wide range of new imagery services. In the future, additional pillars of the Airbus Aerial activities will be in the area of cargo drone services as well as providing connectivity via aerial assets.”

Airbus Aerial will have operations in both the US and Europe. The US wing will be based in Atlanta and be led by Jesse Kallman – who has a broad and high-level background in the UAS field spanning more than a dozen years.

“Drones are only a piece of a much larger picture for us,” he says. “Airbus Aerial brings together a variety of aerospace technologies – including drones and satellites – combines them in a common software infrastructure, and applies industry-specific analytics to deliver tailored solutions to our customers’ biggest challenges.”


The division will be targeting a broad range of commercial applications for imagery and data – ranging from insurance claims and agriculture through to utilities and long-range infrastructure.

Already, Airbus has launched recruitment for positions in drone operations, analytics, and software development. More info is available at

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