Drones have a long history of military use and development. However, these unmanned aerial vehicles have made their way into the civilian sector. The introduction of drones into the private sector has been a source of controversy as to their legality, regulation and various safety concerns. Despite these concerns, unmanned aircrafts have provided many opportunities to civilians in the areas photography, recreation, science, security and search and rescue.
One of the benefits of uavs is their ability to get into areas and heights that a human may have limited access to, or that may pose a physical threat or danger. The use of drones in photography/videography opens up a wide array of shot locations and angles not accessible to most photographers previously. These include aerial shots, for example. With the use of the drone, aerial shots of cities, crowds, and nature can be taken by any photographer/videographer. Another example of the drone’s use by photographers/videographers is in the documentation of disasters, natural or otherwise. Drones have been used to catch images and videos inside the long abandoned nuclear disaster city if Chernobyl. While the area is not safe for human access, a remotely piloted aircraft system can penetrate the area and minimise health risks. Drones are also able to get into places in nature that are not possible to humans. They can scale cliffs, waterfalls, archaeological sites, and so forth for amazing images that would otherwise not be possible.
While unmanned aerial vehicles often conjure up images of rough and tough military use, to the everyday civilian hobbyist and aviation aficionado, drones are mainly high-tech model aeroplanes. Flying drones by civilians are used as a source of recreation, relaxation, hobby and past-time A simple internet search will show drones for hobbyist ranging from several hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. Droning clubs, online forums and magazines exist for hobbyists to research and discuss drone technology, flying, and maintenance and repair.
Science and Research
Drones have proved to be valuable in many aspects of science and research. One of the more prominent areas of research drones have a had a major impact on includes weather and meteorology. Drones have the ability to fly into storms, specifically hurricanes, and measure data throughout different heights and locations in the storm. The drone can collect data from a hurricane while it is still out at sea. Remotely piloted aircraft systems have also been used for research in wildlife management, wildlife migration patterns, and pollution monitoring.
Drones are being used for civilian and commercial monitoring and security. Uav’s can cover a large area and can be used for home security, commercial security and livestock monitoring. Law enforcement also uses drones for surveillance to aid in preventing and solving potential crimes.
Search and Rescue
The area of search and rescue has greatly benefited from the ability to use drones in the quest to find and rescue lost civilians. The unmanned aerial vehicle can cover a far greater area than a human team on foot, and it can search more efficiently and pervasively than aeroplanes or helicopters. The uav can fly through inclement weather and also lower through trees, cliffs and canyons, or areas that have been damaged via flood, avalanche or fire. Drones are also able to locate lost swimmers more quickly using thermal technology, and can even drop a life-preserver to the swimmer in need.
Drones currently serve many promising uses to civilians. Being an active focal point research and technological development, drones will continue to play an integral part in civilian lives in the areas of photography, recreation, science, security, search and rescue and with new uses and purposes continuing to emerge.
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