The concept of unmanned aerial flight has fascinated many of us, and it is only recently that this concept has become a reality. Drones are a prime example of unmanned aerial vehicles or remotely piloted aerial systems, as industry players label them. Due to drones’ extensive potential applications, military, law enforcement, government, and business organizations have invested in drone technology to help advance their respective fields. Drones vary in size – from large spy planes to small and lightweight drones that can fit in your car trunk and can be launched by hand.
Here, we will share some fantastic facts about drones that will amaze you and satisfy your curiosity.
Civilians Also Use Drones
Drones are not just for the exclusive use of the military and police. Modern consumer drone models such as DJI Mavic Air 2, PowerEgg X, and Parrot Anafi are designed for hobbyists and ordinary civilians to operate and enjoy. The consumer drone market is continuously growing, as evidenced by the emergence of new RC drone manufacturers and models. Also, there are various retailers and markets for drone accessories and parts, making the commercial drone market lively and interesting. The latest consumer drone models are equipped with cameras that provide drone users with stunning aerial views and enable them to take great aerial pictures of their surroundings.
Not All Government Drones Are Weaponized
While drones found great potential and use in the military and law enforcement fields, there are other useful applications of drones in other government fields. The government has found other non-military applications such as disaster management and rescue. Government units and agencies can use drones to survey and map out high-risk areas for natural disasters, such as natural land depressions and basins and deforested areas that are prone to flooding and landslides. Drones are also efficient tools for search and rescue efforts after natural and man-made disasters due to their easy operation and fast transmission of visual data, which are essential in assessing the situation. Some drones are equipped with radars, heat sensors, or high-definition cameras to help detect signs of life amidst the debris and rubble.
The small size of drones can enable a closer inspection of a disaster site without causing further damage to the area. This is particularly useful in tunnel cave-ins, structural collapse, and landslides, where surveying and close-up inspection are not possible with large equipment or human rescuers approaching the area. Most of the time, there is very little space in these areas, and finding missing persons can be difficult. Drones can maneuver through tight spaces and help locate trapped persons in a disaster area. They can also be used to transport water, food, medical supplies, communication devices, and tracking devices to the persons trapped beneath the rubbles and debris and improve the outcome of the search and rescue efforts.
The First Military Drone Was Used for Anti-Terrorist Operations
The US military already developed and researched drone technology before the 9/11 attacks happened. After the attacks, the US military deployed prototype UAVs for combat and military use, which led to the killing of Mohammed Atel, an Al Qaeda commander, in the same year. Several years later, the US military used the first fully operational military drone to locate and target Osama Bin Laden. The success of the operation further bolstered the need for more unmanned aerial vehicles or drones in military operations. Now, drones are increasingly used for reconnaissance missions and high-profile missions due to their enhanced maneuverability and reduced risk of losses. The tracking and surveying capabilities of drones have improved significantly, and military drones come equipped with powerful weapons and lethal armaments that can be used for combat situations. Night vision and heat-sensing capabilities are also added to modern Predator drones, making them useful for detecting enemies at night or those hiding underground.
Drones Are Important Tools for Construction Companies
Modern drones are equipped with cameras, which provide photos and videos of the different phases of a construction project life cycle. Drones are useful for monitoring the progress of construction sites and keeping track of significant accomplishments of a construction project. Drones are also used for surveying proposed construction sites, which greatly help architects, engineers, and contractors with their building plans and designs. Aerial photos and videos from drones provide documentation of materials used during construction, as well as 3D images that can be compared to the building plan specifications.
Drones Are Used for Various Safety Inspections
Many industries and companies are using drones in gathering visual information when inspecting their structures such as oil and gas pipelines, transmission towers, power lines, buildings, and bridges. Power plants also need drones to safely inspect turbines, rotor blades, and nuclear reactor exteriors without risking harm to the inspection team. Drones can also be equipped with sensors, detectors, and readers in addition to high-definition cameras that help provide reliable and accurate data on infrastructure safety. This way, repairs, replacements, and other safety precautions are immediately applied.
Drones Are Used in Journalism and Filmmaking
Many journalists use drones to capture photo and video footage of sports events, natural disasters, war-torn areas, and other events and situations that may be risky for a journalist to personally approach or cover. Drones provide live and exclusive feeds that help improve the credibility and significance of news stories and coverage.
Filmmakers also use drone technology to capture breathtaking aerial shots and views. These enhance the viewing experience of their movies and shows. Drones also help reduce production costs by reducing the manpower needed for taking aerial videography and also reducing the need for elevated platforms.
Drones Are Used in Public Safety and Medical Fields
One of the most important uses of drones in both public safety and medical fields is combating the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many countries across the globe are using drones to monitor streets, flea markets, and beaches on how well social distancing measures are enforced.
The medical field uses drones for contactless pick-up and delivery of laboratory samples and test samples for lab analysis. Drones are also used for safe short-distance delivery of medical supplies to hospitals and deployed health units to high-risk areas.
Drones have evolved rapidly, and the use of drones has increased over the years. Whether we actively use drones or not, we may have indirectly benefitted from drones used in various industries. Knowing some of the facts about drones can help us appreciate different types of drones and their roles in our lives.