What is a drone and how do drones work is answered here in very easy to understand language. Drone technology is constantly evolving as new innovation and big investment is bringing more advanced drones to the market every few months.
Drones are used in situations where manned flight is considered too risky or difficult. They provide troops with a 24-hour “eye in the sky”, seven days a week. Each aircraft can stay aloft for up to 17 hours at a time, loitering over an area and sending back real-time imagery of activities on the ground.
Those used by the United States Air Force and Royal Air Force range from small intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance craft, and some light enough to be launched by hand, to medium-sized armed drones and large spy planes.
Drones are seen by many in the military as delivering precision strikes without the need for more intrusive military action. However, they are not without controversy.
Hundreds of people have been killed by the strikes in Pakistan – civilians as well as militants, causing outrage. One of the deadliest attacks was in March 2011 when 40 were killed, many believed to be civilians at a tribal meeting.
HOW DO DRONES WORK
A drone is made from different light composite materials in order to increase maneuverability while flying and reduce weight. It can be equipped with a variety of additional equipment, including cameras, GPS guided missiles, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), navigation systems, sensors, and so on.
What makes these unmanned aircraft remarkable is their great flight capability. Drones have ultra-stable flight, and they can hover and perform different acrobatics in the air. How far you can fly your drone depends on the space you are flying it, as well as the line of sight.
Drones come in a broad range of shapes, sizes, and with various functions. The vast majority of today’s models can be launched by hand, and they can be controlled by remotes or from special ground cockpits. The commercial models come in small sizes and have simplified construction, so these drones are suitable even for kids because they are very easy to control. And, if you want to find out more about them, we suggest checking out our article about best commercial drone models.
- Surveying & gis (mapping)– Using multi-spectral cameras and laser scanners, drones are able to create high-quality 3-D maps. Therefore, they found applications in various areas, including remote sensing, surveying & mapping, photogrammetry, precision agriculture, etc.
- Unmanned cargo system– Drones also serve in delivering of lightweight packages and bundles of all sorts.
- Search and rescue – Drones are very useful in searching and rescuing operations. For example, they are used in firefighting to determine the amount of the certain gasses in air (CO, CO2, and the like) using the special measuring equipment.
- Security– Many authorities use drones to protect people during various emergencies. For instance, they are able to help coordinate a variety of security operations and can preserve evidence alike.
- Science & research– They help scientists a lot in research works to observe different occurrences in nature or a particular environment from the sky. For example, drones are used to document the archaeological excavations, in nuclear accidents, in glacier surveillance, to observe a volcanic eruption, etc.
THE FUTURE OF DRONES
Nowadays, drones are extremely popular and they have countless applications. However, in the future, they are going to be much better, so they will have even more applications.
The most likely thing they will do is package transport. At this moment, Amazon is testing their Amazon Prime Air service. This means that when you order a package, it will be delivered to you in less than 30 minutes, instead of a few days.
There are a lot of speculations on what drones will be capable for in the future.
The materials, used in the manufacturing of drones are going to be changed as well. We can expect to see lighter materials that are stronger than materials used today. Paired with more efficient electric motors, future drones will fly longer and be able to reach higher speeds.
Of course, we cannot ignore the military applications future drones will have. They will probably replace combat aircraft; therefore, reduce the number of lost lives! On the other side, some drones will be able to carry powerful weapons, so they will be used in conflicts.
Extremely small drones will be able to pass enemy lines and gain valuable information about the enemy army. Eventually, they will be able to collect all the data army needs, so spies and spy satellites won’t be needed anymore.