What do commercial drones, cloud computing, and NASA have in common? Last week at TechCrunch Disrupt, Skycatch’s CEO Christian Sanz shared the stage with Box’s founder, Aaron Levie, and NASA’s NextGen Concepts Manager, Dr. Parimal Kopardekar to discuss the ways drones will shape society.

Sanz led the audience in imagining a day when mapping is updated on a real-time basis, poaching and other inhumane acts are tracked immediately instead of discovered after the fact, and construction and mining workers spend more time evaluating autonomously collected data and less time riskily collecting it themselves.

As these possibilities come to fruition with the emergence of commercial drones, auxiliary markets and institutions will necessarily evolve as well. UAVs use a variety of sensors to collect all kinds of information, and one related challenge is how to store the myriad amounts of data produced. Box, Levie noted, recognizes the need of its clients to be able to store, share, and collaborate on enormous data sets such as the ones delivered by UAVs. Another challenge will be to revise the current airspace system to handle a busier, more complex environment that supports UAVs in addition to modern aircraft. Dr. Kopardekar recognized that guaranteeing safety is the top priority for any company entering the commercial drone space, and NextGen Concepts works on providing the necessary technologies to make UAV integration into the airways possible.

Skycatch and other companies are partnering to build the necessary airspace infrastructure to support commercial UAVs, stay tuned for a more detailed announcement!

Check out this short clip of Aaron Levie talking drones on the panel at TechCrunch: