POPULAR USES FOR DRONES

POPULAR USES FOR DRONES

REMOTE SENSING

Drones can carry sensing equipment to assist with any number of functions. Geological surveying, agriculture, archeology, and several other industries can benefit greatly from the myriad of sensors that can be packed into a drone. Here are just a few examples of how the agricultural industry, for example, uses aerial sensors:


Drones can use Lidar to measure the height of crops. Lidar is a remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating an object with a laser (near-infrared or UV) and then measuring what is reflected back.


Heat sensors detect the temperature of livestock, the presence of water, water temperature, and for surveillance and emergency response (if someone is injured in a remote field away from heavy equipment).


Multi-spectral instruments can count plants (crop density), check the health of plants, and even assess water quality.


Visual spectrum sensors make it possible to survey and map land.


Biological sensors can be used to take air quality readings and check for the presence of specific micro-organisms or organic compounds.


COMMERCIAL AERIAL SURVEILLANCE

When you hear surveillance, chances are good that you think about security cameras designed to catch lawbreakers. Or possibly spying and monitoring of your personal movements and actions. Here are just a few ways that aerial surveillance can be helpful:


Farmers use drones to monitor livestock on vast spreads of land.


Fire departments can use drones to track and map wild fires.


Private companies can use drones to monitor their infrastructure such as pipelines, buildings, and so on.


Using drones to inspect power lines, towers, tall structures like chimneys and roofs would save businesses vast amounts of money and would reduce liability exposure from having humans in harm’s way.


COMMERCIAL AND MOTION PICTURE FILMMAKING

In 2014, the Motion Picture Association, backed by seven companies, petitioned the FAA to allow the use of drones in video and filmmaking. Drones dramatically reduce the cost associated with gathering action or aerial footage that up until now would require expensive equipment like booms and dollies or even helicopters or other manned aircraft.


In September of 2014, the FAA issued permits to six film studios for the use of drones in filmmaking. Drones are also being used to gather footage in sporting events because of their ability to maneuver into locations that cable-suspended cameras cannot reach. Most recently, drones were used to gather footage of the skiing and snowboarding events in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.


OIL, GAS, AND MINERAL EXPLORATION

With the help of specific electromagnetic sensors, drones can be used to gather geological information to help geophysicists identify and better approximate the location and presence of minerals, oil, and natural gas.