A Bold Indiana Based Startup Hopes To Increase Its Share of the US Drone Market

Pressure on Chinese UAV companies to reduce their presence in the US drone market and make room for more US-based suppliers is growing.  A number of ambitious start-ups with niche capabilities are rapidly expanding their operations, hoping to increase their market share.

One such start-up is Indiana-based Uniform Sierra Aerospace, the brainchild of three Purdue University graduate students, who first introduced their Arrowhead drone for indoor inspections in 2023.  The company also produces a Phantom drone, released earlier this year, that is ideally suited for criminal pursuit and search-and-rescue operations.  The two drones are meant to serve different classes of clients with advanced aerial surveillance needs –one type private sector and commercial oriented, the other, geared to emergency first-responders, especially law enforcement. Each drone has different camera specs and equipment payloads.

The Arrowhead drone can operate indoors continuously for over 20 minutes and is equipped with optional thermal sensors as well as LED floodlights for dark environments.  The drone includes a mesh capable digital radio link, which allows it to stream full HD video back to an operator in real time. The drone also has what’s called an All-Axis Recovery capability, which means it can automatically recover from crashes by flipping over, as needed, to resume flight.

The Panther can fly continuously for over 45 minutes at speeds up to 45 mph but comes equipped with smart batteries that are hot swappable with a ground power port, which keeps flight interruptions to a minimum.  The drone has a 3 kg (6.6 lbs) payload capacity and can release its cargo automatically after the craft descends and hovers close to its destination point. It’s also foldable and can fit into a large backpack.

Uniform Sierra has since gone an intriguing step further, upgrading its Arrowhead model, while also creating a new symbiotic relationship with the Phantom that allows both drones to function in tandem at a higher level.  The introduction of Arrowhead ‘24 upgrade promises to extend the company’s reach into new commercial niches that require operations in GPS-denied areas, including indoor construction, warehouse and mining inspections and SWAT hostage scenarios.

“The Arrowhead ’24 radio can talk to Panther, which can talk to a ground station,” company CEO Duncan Mulgrew says. “Getting a radio connection into a building with steel support beams can be difficult. Panther can be used as an airborne relay to improve signal penetration into buildings for Arrowhead. Separately, they perform great. Use both, and they can perform even better.”

Mulgrew points to other features of the Arrowhead 2024 that make it a significant advancement over the original model.

“It’s much easier to fly; training takes five or six minutes instead of multiple hours,” he says.  “It’s also much easier to build in-house, so we can manufacture more in less time,” he adds.

Other Arrowhead ’24 upgrades include its enhanced 320p/640p thermal camera support and improved LED floodlights.  In addition, an onboard module bay and expansion connector allows for the new drone to serve as a platform to install capabilities from other drone systems with ease.  That’s a feature that Chinese drone makers like DJI have long offered customers which will make the Arrowhead 2024 even more competitive in today’s marketplace.

Both Uniform Sierra drones are now NDAA-certified, which promises to have U.S. government clients knocking at the company’s door.  And investors are eager to weigh in.  Purdue Innovates Ventures supported Uniform Sierra Aerospace in 2022 during a pre-seed round with a modest $100,000 investment, but last year the company raised nearly $500,000 in venture capital, which has allowed it to accelerate its development beyond expectations.  The company has just moved to a new production facility in the Purdue Technology Center, a business incubator in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette.  It’s also doubled its original staff from 5 to 10 employees.

ABOUT US: DroneVideos.com is a Nationwide Media Company specializing in custom Drone Videos for real estate, commercial, farms, construction, golf courses, roof inspections and more. All of our Drone Operators are fully licensed and insured. When you purchase a Drone Video Package from us, you will receive a video professionally edited, color corrected and presented to you on an SEO-Friendly webpage that you can easily share online and on Social Media with a click of a button. Click here to get started.

Previous Drone News:

Start Your Order
We Offer a Variety of Drone Video Packages
to Fit Your Needs and Budget