Drones have seemingly become a well-known gadget-heads new toy, but not a lot of people know about the real capacity they have. For most people Drones are considered new toys, used to get better pictures or videos, but their capabilities range far wider than this. To truly understand their capabilities, one must understand what a drone is, how it works and how it can collect and analyse data.
What is a Drone?
Drones are often used for military purposes, hoping to remove the potential of putting a human’s life at risk when travelling over dangerous fly zones. They are a great upgrade from the use of planes and an aviation team as do not require and breaks. They are much smaller than traditional aircraft, so can go undetected in these combat areas and much cheaper to run. Surprisingly they have been used in the military since 1911, this is almost as long as planes have been used in warfare.
Another term commonly used for Drones are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), a fitting name for the actuality of the machine. Drones have also been used in various space explorations, there they are referred to as an unpiloted aircraft or simply a spacecraft.
The use of Drone’s has increased in recent years with government agencies using them for safety reasons, usually to do with weather related incidents. They are a great resource for search and rescue operations and for 3D mapping projects, aiming to understand the terrain in certain areas. There has been a serge in Drone usage for creative outlets such as for photography and videography, it is not uncommon now for wedding photographers to have a drone to capture the setting and surroundings of someone’s big day. Amazon even toyed with the idea of offering Drone-deliveries, there usage is endless, and they have increased in reputation over the past five years.
How do Drones Work?
Drones are controlled by a remote-control system, sometimes referred to as a ground cockpit, this can be manned within a saleable distance of where your Drone is flying to. They are usually very light to increase their manoeuvrability and made of a study material to fly at altitude. Military drones are made with a very strong composite material to allow them to fly at extremely high altitudes.
UAV Drones come fully equipped with various technology, as to best fit its end user. It is common to find infrared cameras, lasers and a GPS system installed into a UAV Drone. At the front of the Drone you can find all the sensors and navigation-based technologies, the rest of it is used to operate the drone and assist its flight capabilities, the authority website WiredShopper cites.
To assist them in flight they have rotors, these are propellers which are attached to a motor allowing for them to be able to hover. As the controller increased the speed the rotors create an upward force, allowing them to ascend, the pilot of the Drone can then navigate them to their desired destination.
How do Drones Collect and Analyse Data?
As Drones can navigate through difficult to reach terrain and access uninhabitable places, they are a great tool to use to capture data. They used to only be able to collect photos and videos, today they can gather data around emissions, land surveying, radio signals and geodetic information. This means their importance in so many industries are vital.
They usually collect their data from Geographic Information Systems (GSI), these are used to map out and visualise locations. They can also use thermal imaging to help detect any radiation, which is heavily used within the construction and maintenance professions. This is the main source for collecting data, depending on the Drones add-ons the data collection of many other specific niches can be captured too.
In past years Drones were just the capturers of data, retrieving all the information they have found back to its owners. Now they have been built with cutting edge technology, they can now recognise issues whilst flying and operating using machine learning in the air as it sees the information. Through using GIS technology, raw drone data can be translated into actionable information that can really be helpful in informing business decisions.
The capability of Drones and Drone technology is massive, it is important to understand the possibilities that businesses could unlock through using them. At present they are a great fit for construction, agriculture and maintenance works, to name a few.
Their usage has been fabricated to fit the needs of a different, more mainstream market for the likes of photography and videography capabilities. Now there are many technology-based companies that are dedicated to increasing the potential of Drone technology, it just needs to be marketed better to the companies that could really find them useful.