Last week, a new company came to market that seeks to be a systems integrator for unmanned vehicles – or drones. The San Diego-based company will work with commercial, enterprise and government clients to help them find ways of better using unmanned systems in their business operations and ensuring that appropriate software and security systems are in place.
“What we’ve run into is that people often buy an unmanned system but then quickly realize they don’t know what to do with it or they don’t have all the technology that they need to make full use of it,” says VStar founder and CEO Andy Von Stauffenberg in an interview with CivSource. VStar will work with both clients and other vendors to find solutions from technology to training.
Von Stauffenberg started his career in the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Electrician. After eight years with the Navy, he joined the corporate world and accepted a position at Northrop Grumman. At Northrop, he led the overall technical team as the RQ-4B Global Hawk Program Deputy Chief Engineer and Block 30 Chief Engineer for the unmanned product, overseeing all technical aspects of the product life cycle, including the development, production and sustainment efforts for the United States Air Force. Von Stauffenberg founded VStar Systems Inc. in 2015 with the goal of being a solutions provider that helps owners of unmanned systems bring it all together on the technology side.
“We almost want to be a general contractor for the UAV space,” he says. Von Stauffenberg has also brought over George Guerra, former Vice President of HALE Enterprise Strategic Ventures in the Unmanned Systems division of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, to join VStar as a strategic advisor.
In addition to building a client base, the company is also working with regulators on the spate of new federal and state regulations in the works surrounding unmanned vehicles. “We’re keeping a close eye on regulation and trying to be involved in the discussions where we can,” Von Stauffenberg said.
As CivSource has previously reported, the FAA and several states have recently created new regulatory frameworks around unmanned vehicles that govern how high and where they can fly, registration, and pilot training. The FCC is also looking into additional policies as they impact commerce rules.