Carroll's AirCover sees major growth in agriculture, energy fields
July 23, 2013
AirCover assembles many of its survellance drones in the Carroll facility. The company has developed drones with specialized features for agricultural applications.
The company that manufacturers surveillance drones in Carroll reports a surge in agricultural demand for its product as farmers and ranchers see ways to use the product to maximize efficiencies on their land.
Additionally, AirCover Integrated Solutions president and CEO James Hill said his company has developed a drone geared specifically for agricultural work. He sees growth potential with ag-business partners in Iowa as well as major opportunities in growing international farm markets.
Locating in Carroll, Hill said, has opened business and research-and-development connections with professionals who know farming as well as anyone in the world.
"I think it's had a direct impact," Hill said.
Some farmers are making use of the drones to scout fields, bringing more exact science to their work, Hill said. AirCover is working with some large U.S. producers in addition to applications for grain farmers.
"We're actually making the product available for individual use," Hill said.
Hill recently has had successful discussions with oil-and-gas operations, as well as media companies.
Televisa, which owns Univision, the largest Spanish-language station in the United States, recently purchased unmanned aerial vehicles from AirCover Integrated Solutions. Company president and CEO James Hill said the drones were deployed at the 100,000-person Azteca Stadium in Mexico City for soccer coverage. The media company flew the drones around the stadium, providing views of action on the field as well as celebration and activity in the stands, Hill said.
"I received wonderful reports," Hill said.
The AirCover drones - about 2-1/2 feet by 2-1/2 feet and 3.7 pounds - are slightly larger than a seagull. The drones, managed from the ground by state-of-the-art computer systems, can climb 80 feet per second, or about four stories per second. They travel horizontally at 45 mph. The air ceilings depend on whether the UAVs are used for civilian or military application.
AirCover, a leading international unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturer, in 2012 officially opened assembly, sales and marketing operations in Carroll with plans for up to 20 employees by 2014 in the burgeoning high-tech industry.
The advanced research-and-development company specializes in surveillance drones and sensors for public safety, search-and-rescue missions and commercial applications. The company has a strong corporate footprint in the Cedar Rapids area. The Carroll facility opened Nov. 11 at the 20th Street location north of U.S. Highway 71.
The privately held, Redding, Calif.-based company on July 4 opened a stock sale to investors that is expected to run until Labor Day.
Investors interested in the company can make contact through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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