Asteria launches drone-as-a-service offering for Indian verticals

Image credit: Asteria Aerospace

Asteria Aerospace, a subsidiary of Jio Platforms, has officially launched SkyDeck, a cloud-based software platform that powers its drone-as-a-service (DaaS) offering.

Skydeck offers a unified dashboard and services for drone fleet management, scheduling and executing drone flights, data processing, and visualization and AI-based analysis of aerial data captured using drones.

The drone maker said that it is fully capable of helping in the successful implementation of fleets of drones in various government programs and initiatives like the Svamitva Scheme, Smart Cities, Agristack, and other development projects in the country.

“With the launch of SkyDeck, we are addressing the need of the hour with an integrated drone hardware, software, and operations solution,” Neel Mehta, Co-founder & Director, Asteria Aerospace, said in an official statement. “SkyDeck simplifies the use of drones to generate aerial data and turns that digital data into business insights to power drone applications at scale.”

Mehta also said SkyDeck ensures operational transparency and provides secure and centralized management for scaling drone programs across multiple applications.

Asteria, which develops customized drone solutions for government and enterprise customers, is now aiming to tap multiple industry verticals such as agriculture, surveying, industrial inspections, and surveillance and security with this latest service.

For the agriculture sector, Asteria says, SkyDeck provides data and insights that can be used to accurately measure crop traits, assess crop health, and optimize agri inputs.

For construction and mining industries, the company uses drone-based aerial data to create accurate site surveys for monitoring progress and maintaining accurate inventory records.

For critical infrastructure sectors such as oil & gas, telecom, and power & utilities, SkyDeck drones help digitize and inspect assets for preventive maintenance, identifying threats, and recording changes.

Incorporated in India in June 2011, Asteria claims to have in-house hardware design, software development, and manufacturing capabilities.

Jio Platforms acquired a 51.78% stake in Asteria Aerospace in 2019 acquired over for Rs 23.12 crore (a little over $3 million) to become a major participant in the emerging drone space.

The recent liberalization of regulations for drone operations and the promotion of DaaS by the Indian government have increased the demand of drones across industry sectors. The government’s goal is to make India a global drone hub by 2030 – it has already introduced several production-linked incentive schemes (PLIs) for the drone industry, which is expected to grow to $2 billion in size.

The country’s finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her Union Budget speech that drone services will be promoted through support for startups and upskilling.

Reliance Jio recently said that it successfully conducted connected drone trials on its locally-developed 5G network to execute various industrial and enterprise use cases such as image recognition, track-and-trace, discrete payload pickup and delivery, drone route sorties, video imagery and real-time drone control, among other applications.

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