DRONES (Dynamic Remotely Operated Navigational Equipment) have been around for many years, they are used for several different purposes and can be very helpful in many areas. However, drones have become much more popular in recent times, and their application has increased rapidly in various fields.
One of the most used definitions for drone is:
“An unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond the line of sight”.
Another frequently used definition is:
“Drone is any unmanned aircraft or ship that is guided remotely”.
No doubt, drones are among the most advanced devices in today’s aeronautics, electronics and robotics alike.
HOW DO DRONES WORK?
In order to understand better how drones fly and work, we need to know some basic information about the construction of a typical drone.
Drones are made from different light composite materials in order to increase maneuverability while flying and reduce weight. they can be equipped with a variety of additional equipment, including cameras, GPS guided missiles, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), navigation systems, sensors, and various other drone software and hardware.
There are different variations in the frame and construction of drones, but the essential components that every drone must have is a waterproof motor frame, flight and motor controllers, motors, transmitter and receiver, propellers, and a battery or any other source of energy.
You can certainly fly a drone beyond the line of your sight, but it increases the risk of hurting someone, crashing your drone, or damaging someone’s property. When it comes to commercial drones for entertainment, they have a short control distance and can fly for just a few minutes. On the contrary, the advanced drones which are used in the military or mapping are able to hover for hours in the air and be controlled from a great distance. Military drones are often the most advanced, and in fact are a large source of innovation in drone technology.
Applications of Drone:
1. AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Drones are now being used to capture footage that would otherwise require expensive helicopters and cranes. Fast paced action and sci-fi scenes are filmed by aerial drones, thus making cinematography easier.These autonomous flying devices are also used in real estate and sports photography. Furthermore, journalists are considering the use of drones for collecting footage and information in live broadcasts.
2. SHIPPING AND DELIVERY
Major companies like Amazon, UPS, and DHL are in favor of drone delivery. Drones could save a lot of manpower and shift unnecessary road traffic to the sky. Besides, they can be used over smaller distances to deliver small packages, food, letters, medicines, beverages and the like.
3. GEOGRAPHIC MAPPING
Available to amateurs and professionals, drones can acquire very high-resolution data and download imagery in difficult to reach locations like coastlines, mountaintops, and islands. They are also used to create 3D maps and contribute to crowd sourced mapping applications.
4. DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Drones provide quick means, after a natural or man-made disaster, to gather information and navigate debris and rubble to look for injured victims. Its high definition cameras, sensors, and radars give rescue teams access to a higher field of view, saving the need to spend resources on manned helicopters. Where larger aerial vehicles would prove perilous or inefficient, drones, thanks to their small size, are able to provide a close-up view of areas.
5. PRECISION AGRICULTURE
Farmers and agriculturists are always looking for cheap and effective methods to regularly monitor their crops. The infrared sensors in drones can be tuned to detect crop health, enabling farmers to react and improve crop conditions locally, with inputs of fertilizer or insecticides. It also improves management and effectuates better yield of the crops. In the next few years, nearly 80% of the agricultural market will comprise of drones.
6. SEARCH AND RESCUE
Presence of thermal sensors gives drones night vision and makes them a powerful tool for surveillance. Drones are able to discover the location of lost persons and unfortunate victims, especially in harsh conditions or challenging terrains. Besides locating victims, a drone can drop supplies to unreachable locations in war torn or disaster stricken countries. For example, a drone can be utilized to lower a walkie-talkie, GPS locator, medicines, food supplies, clothes, and water to stranded victims before rescue crews can move them to some place else.
7. WEATHER FORECAST
Drones are being developed to monitor dangerous and unpredictable weather. Since they are cheap and unmanned, drones can be sent into hurricanes and tornadoes, so that scientists and weather forecasters acquire new insights into their behavior and trajectory. Its specialized sensors can be used to detail weather parameters, collect data, and prevent mishaps.
8. WILDLIFE MONITORING
Drones have served as a deterrent to poachers.They provide unprecedented protection to animals, like elephants, rhinos, and big cats, a favorite target for poachers. With its thermal cameras and sensors, drones have the ability to operate during the night. This enables them to monitor and research on wildlife without causing any disturbance and provides insight on their patterns, behavior, and habitat.
9. LAW ENFORCEMENT
Drones are also used for maintaining the law. They help with the surveillance of large crowds and ensure public safety. They assist in monitoring criminal and illegal activities. In fact, fire investigations, smugglers of migrants, and illegal transportation of drugs via coastlines, are monitored by the border patrol with the help of drones.
Drones are being developed to provide entertainment for players so that they can be used in fight clubs. Known as a cage match, two contenders and their drones are put up against each other. The destruction of any of the player’s drones results in the other’s win. Moreover, artificial drone intelligence is used in several ways to capture videos and photographs, for example, the Dronie, which is used to take selfies.