Drones & Their Uses
Otherwise, called UAV’s or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, there are specialized uses drones are put to that help save time, money, and risk. From civil applications to police and military ones. Here are some of the top uses of drones:
It is often the case that scientists need to gather data from distant or extreme locations. These places can indeed pose hazardous.
To understand hurricanes better, for example, scientists need to send a manned aircraft into the eye of the storm so they can find ways to create technology that can defend against it or register a hurricane’s formation. Meteorological information is also part of the deal.
Capturing footage of distant locations from an excellent sky-based vantage has helped cut risk and expense where actual manned aircrafts are concerned.
Equipped with high-resolution video cameras, stabilization features, even infrared options, drones are also capable of streaming data as they collect it. The user on the ground sure could do with such splendid versatility.
Some larger drones can serve as carriers, transporting a reasonably hefty payload between locations.
Their relative size and speed can get the job done. Little wonder why these helicopter-type drones are greatly demanded. Loads can readily be suspended beneath the drone, eliminating any aerodynamic and streamlining problems.
Different Types of Drones
Different Types of Drones
It is no big surprise that these technological marvels began their journey in the halls of the military. They eventually flew into the commercial sector where they are. In compliance with flight permits and strictures, used for real estate purposes, often even scientific ones.
Below you will find a list of drones types currently in use, after which we will check out what the U.S. military has grabbed for itself. The U.S. airforce, though, makes the most use of drones (UAV’s) and even classified them using a tier system.
- Low altitude; extended endurance units.
- Micro; extremely portable units.
- High altitude; high endurance equipped with low observable design.
- High altitude; high endurance equipped with conventional design.
A drone’s type is linked directly to that drone’s use. Those that have a blimp design are ideal when it comes to carrying and moving reasonably large cargo. Most drones do not have autonomous movement, meaning they are not free to fly as a computer chip dictates. There has to be a user inputting data from the ground.
While these days innovations in computer technology have granted the the ability to function intuitively and almost always make apt decisions pre-programmed into them, it is still a wiser choice to use the remote control to keep things going.
What operations does a drone follow during autonomous flight?
- Determine the best flight path when on a mission through sensor inputs.
- In addition to sensor input interpretations, drones also need to merge different sensor inputs.
- Choose ideal flight maneuvers based on the task provided.
- Communication with: other drones, aircrafts, satellites, ground stations.
- Drones are also called upon to work as a team with other drones to accomplish important missions or tasks (MIT’s Swarm Project is an excellent example).
The biggest concern with this type of drone is that one day autonomous drones will probably replace human pilots altogether. While risk is cut and safety is greatly improved, the obvious question still remains. What will pilots have to say?
So what type of drones does the military use? They must have something better than the commercial drones, more so because the U.S. military alone has three separate classifications, one each for their Army, Marines, and Air Force.
1RQ-7 Shadow – From its average man-sized dimensions to its ability to fly 80 miles away from command central (the longest range on commercial drones is 1 mile on the DJI Phantom 3), this drone sends back near-instant video footage of the battlefield. Its ability to save lives cannot be stressed enough.
2RQ-4 Global Hawk – This is purportedly the largest and heaviest drone in existence. With a 130-foot wingspan and weighing in at 32,000 pounds, it can stay in the air for a whole day and attain an altitude of 60,000 feet. In addition to detection and tracking of moving targets on the ground, this pride of the military can also capture high-res images.
3RQ-11 Raven – At only 4 pounds, this lightweight drone can literally be thrown in the air to fly. Accompanied by a hand-held remote control, this is one of the most used military drones. From observing around corners to sending back rooftop footage to reduce risk for troops moving through a city, this extremely ordinary and delicate drone has quite a powerful purpose.
4MQ-1 Predator & MQ-9 Reaper – Often in the news, quite popular not to mention iconic, both these military drones can be armed, meaning they are more than capable of performing what the papers have termed ‘drone strikes’. From powerful engines to excellent designs, these two are the cream of the military drone-crop.
These are all the types of drones out there and as you can imagine the commercial sector is still lax in high-end drones (except for the one that can be armed. Of course, which the military is better off having alone).
Must knowledge before buying Drones
This is very important. Once you know how much you can spend, you can seek out the best quality drone in that price range. There are affordable ones and highly expensive ones, but either can work for you if you follow the next point below, namely Usage.
From toys to industrial-grade aircraft drones run the gamut indeed. Where the former sell for as little as $80 higher models like the DJI Phantom 2, for instance, can go for $900 while research-oriented models like the SkyBotix CoAx can go for a whopping $5000.
Serious videographers will appreciate what the more expensive brands can provide, but it all boils down to…
This details the very purpose of your drone. What you are going to use it for. Is it simply for recreational or relaxation purposes or do you have specialized and professional uses for your drone?
Live streaming of videos, tinker and/or modifying components to create your own hybrid drone, real estate landscaping, research data gathering, and so on are some of the uses drones can put to.
If you know what you want to do with a drone, you can find a drone to do what you want it to.
3. Laws & Regulations
This is crucial to drone owners. Do not be radical and think you can trespass into unauthorized air space or other locations in the hope of looking cool on YouTube. You can quite justly be arrested for such things. And that will not look so cool.
National Park services, government and military holdings, private spaces, and so on are off limits no matter what kind of drone you own. Stay compliant and respectful of other people’s privacy and you can go on droning for years to come.
Your drone is not a piece of cyber-tech from the distant future, though many of them do look the part. They are machines and as such require regular maintenance.
Wind shear and other weather-related damage, accidents, scrapes and dents, the need to replace parts, and so on are some of the things you need to read and educate yourself on about your drone.
Not only will this move save you time and disappointment down the line, it will also save you hundreds in expenses.