The number of commercial uses for drones and unmanned aircraft has increased as the technology has evolved since it first became available ten years or so ago. Here are a few examples of just how useful UAV technology has become and where it has become adopted in some areas to the point where it is now commonplace.
Aerial Videography & Films
Commercial drones are increasingly being used for a variety of purposes, including aerial photos, aerial videography, filmmaking, and TV drama shoots. Drones offer a perspective that can add a new dimension to these types of projects capturing impressive aerial footage.
For example, drones can be used to capture aerial shots that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to obtain from helicopters, booms, or cranes. They can also be used to film in locations that are remote or difficult to access.
They can get great stable shots that sweep over a landscape or around a building. Helicopters have the downside of being disruptive in terms of noise and downdraught for any scene beneath them. Drones are small, agile, and quiet, and they can get into areas that are too small for even the smallest helicopters.
General aerial photography using consumer drones has become a hobby for many amateurs piloting drones across landscapes and in marine environments. While regulations prohibit the use of personal drones in urban areas there are no such restrictions in the countryside, although in some countries a remote pilot certificate may still be required.
This particular use of UAVs and drones has yet to become a reality for domestic customers but delivery drones have already been put to use delivering medicines, blood supplies, and vaccines.
The Amazon Prime Air program will be able to deliver any object that weighs up to five pounds to people living in 30 minutes using drones within a certain range of the warehouse. The technology is already in place for drones to do this automatically.
The drones depicted in the concept videos a few years ago are octocopters. Underneath is a simple plastic clip that holds onto an orange plastic container that will have the product in it.
The drones will be able to fly high enough to avoid obstacles and hazards such as power lines and wind turbines while still low enough to be below the flight paths of manned aircraft i.e. at around 400 feet.
They can then land either near someone’s house or in pre-approved landing areas before flying back to base. The site estimates that this could hit the public in another 5 years or so, maybe even sooner.
The main thing that’s stalling progress in the USA is FAA regulations. The Federal Aviation Administration will probably solve these concerns soon, which will open up the field for more of this kind of work.
Amazon has been working on the program for several years, and it has now begun testing the drones in the United Kingdom. While the program is still in its early stages, it has the potential to revolutionize package delivery.
In addition to being fast and convenient, drone delivery would also be more environmentally friendly than traditional methods. With Amazon Prime Air, the future of package delivery is just around the corner.
Drones in Mining
Mining companies in areas throughout the world are already using drones to improve how efficiently they can mine. Drones are used as scouts to accurately measure different site conditions in terms of how valuable the area is for mining, and how safe it would be to mine there.
Specifically, drones can inspect pit walls, figure out quantities, and even create three-dimensional maps of mining areas. The LiDAR sensors on UAV platforms are ideal for 3D mapping of mines and these are used extensively.
Drones are used in mining operations to perform tasks that would otherwise be difficult or dangerous for people to do. This includes things like surveying an area for potential mineral deposits, checking the condition of mines shafts and other structural features, and helping to guide operators of heavy machinery.
Drones can also be used to monitor environmental conditions in and around mines, such as air quality and wildlife populations. In some cases, drones are equipped with sensors that can detect methane gas leaks, which could be a serious safety hazard for miners.
Wildlife Research & Monitoring
Drones are used for wildlife research and wildlife monitoring to help study the behavior of animals in their natural habitat. The drones can fly low to the ground and stay in a certain area for an extended period, which helps researchers gather more detailed information about the animals they’re studying. Additionally, by using drones, researchers can study animal populations without disturbing them.
One of the most important uses for drones in wildlife research is tracking animals that are difficult to follow by ground methods. For example, large animals like elephants or whales can be difficult to track because they move across vast areas. Drones can cover a lot of ground quickly and easily, which makes them ideal for tracking these types of animals.
Another use for drones in wildlife research is taking photographs or videos of animals. This can help study the animal’s behavior or appearance. Additionally, by taking photos or videos from a drone, researchers can get a different perspective of the animal than they would if they were on the ground.
Overall, drones offer a unique and invaluable tool for wildlife research. They can help researchers study animals in a way that is non-invasive and less disruptive to their natural habitat. Additionally, drones can cover a lot of ground quickly and easily, which makes them ideal for tracking large animals or taking photos or videos from a different perspective.
Search And Rescue Operations
Drones have become an increasingly useful tool in search and rescue operations as they can cover a large area more quickly and efficiently than traditional methods. Drones can be used to survey a wide area for signs of a missing person or pet. They can be deployed rapidly as part of an emergency response.
They can also be used to search for survivors in the aftermath of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or hurricane. Disaster relief agencies were some of the early adopters of drone usage to assist in the aftermath of natural disasters where the road infrastructure is often damaged.
In addition, drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras, biological sensors, or infrared cameras can be used to locate people who are lost at sea, as they can spot body heat from a distance. As drone technology continues to improve, even more lifesaving applications will likely be found for this versatile tool.
Thermal image cameras can detect heat signatures, even in low-light conditions. This makes them ideal for finding people who may be lost in the wilderness or buried under debris after a natural disaster.
When combined with the aerial perspective of a drone, thermal image cameras can cover a large area quickly and effectively. As a result, they have become an invaluable tool for search-and-rescue operations.
Drones are becoming an increasingly popular tool in the agricultural industry. They offer a cost-effective and efficient way to monitor crops, conduct research, and even apply pesticides.
Fixed-wing drones are well-suited for large fields, as they can cover a wide area quickly. Multi-rotor drones, on the other hand, are more maneuverable and can be used in smaller fields or for more targeted applications.
Crop mapping is one of the most common uses for drones in agriculture. By using special cameras and sensors, drones can create detailed maps of crops, which can be used to identify problem areas or track the progress of growth.
Identifying specific areas that are contaminated by weeds or pests can have a big impact on the cost of insecticides and pesticides. It allows farmers to target only those areas instead of spraying the entire field.
Drones are also being used for more experimental applications, such as testing new seed varieties or delivery methods. Drones provide a means to develop sustainable farming practices by collecting data that can be processed and analyzed to economize on the use of chemicals and fuel in farming.
The Transition of Military UAV to Commercial Drone Usage
Military drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have been used by the US armed forces for over two decades. In that time, they have played an increasingly important role in military operations, carrying out surveillance, intelligence gathering, and airstrikes in a wide variety of locations.
Surveillance drones are now seen as a must-have for any air force with the budget to acquire one.
These complex and expensive unmanned aircraft systems continue to evolve alongside the developments of robotic drones and artificial intelligence. These programs are the justification for increased budgets for military spending.
In the past ten years, however, there has been a growing interest in using drones for commercial purposes. Commercial drone manufacturers continue to develop drone technologies to provide a range of services.
The transition from military to commercial drones has not been without its challenges, technological, commercial, and legal, but it is clear that drones are here to stay. Thanks to their many applications, drones are set to play an important role in our lives in the years to come.
Drones are used for a variety of purposes, both commercial and civilian. Some of the most common uses include data collection, infrastructure inspections, emergency response, and medical deliveries.
The collection of data is one of the most widespread applications for drones. They can be used to collect visual data, which can be used for a variety of purposes such as civil engineering, industrial inspections, and crop health monitoring. Drones can also be equipped with thermal cameras, which can be used to detect fires or to gather information about the environment.
Commercial drone pilots are often employed for infrastructure inspections. It is common to see drones flying programmed to carry out safety inspections of telecoms towers, bridges, and other structures. This allows engineers to obtain a aerial perspective on the condition of these structures and identify any potential problems.
Emergency response is another area where drones have been proven useful. Drones can be used to deliver medical supplies to people who are stranded or to provide reconnaissance footage of a disaster area. This allows emergency responders to plan their operations more effectively and respond faster to disasters.
Medical deliveries is an area that is seeing increasing use of drones. Drones can be used to transport medical samples from one location to another or to bring medication to people who are unable to leave their home. This allows patients to receive treatment without having to go to a hospital.
Aerial drones are used to track the progress of construction sites, solar farm inspections, and to collect data on all manner of industrial projects. Drone operations at construction sites is particularly useful for creating software models.
Drones can be used to safely fly in Class G airspace and allow for data collection that wouldn’t be possible with manned aircraft. They can fly at low level over forest fires to take aerial photographs and provide aerial perspectives through video that help the emergency services work out how to best deploy their resources.
Conservation efforts and military purposes are also common applications for drones. Infrared sensors can be used to detect things that are invisible to the human eye, making them invaluable for certain applications.
Major companies are beginning to use drones for inspection costs, which can often be more accurate and less expensive than hiring a manned aircraft. Insurance companies are also beginning to gather data points from drones in order to better assess risk.