Drones in Military Operations
The military applications of drones or UAVs are manifold. There are specific types of drones designed for scouting purposes. Attached with a digital camera and other sensors, these unmanned aircraft are used explicitly for surveying a territory, collecting geospatial intelligence, monitoring ground activities from the air, providing visual assistance to ground troops, and cost-effective delivery of military supplies and humanitarian aid.
• Agriculture: UAVs can cover large areas and perform tasks efficiently minus the need for heavy machinery and a higher degree of human involvement. Specific uses include surveying fields and generating images, examining the health of crop plants, and airborne dissemination of pesticides and fertilizers.
• Mining: Geologists and mining engineers are now using unmanned aircraft to reach and survey uncharted areas, collect geographic data, analyze the geophysical characteristics of a target area through the use of attached sensors, and collect ore or rock samples on site for evaluation.
• Telecommunication: Note that UAVs can be deployed to assess damages to telecommunication towers and other network facilities quickly. In addition, there are ongoing tests to use drones to improve the wireless transmission of data. The idea centers on attaching radio equipment to these vehicles to expand network coverage and link areas with existing communication facilities.
• Scientific Research: Drones have been used to observe dangerous and natural phenomenon such as storms and volcanic eruptions or active volcanoes, as well as collect atmospheric data for weather forecasting. Unmanned aircraft have also been used in the conservation of endangered species, especially by tagging target animals, collecting samples, observing their patterns of migration, and policing protected areas.
• Government Services: Several agencies responsible for providing humanitarian aid and response during an emergency or disaster are now using UAVs for the surveillance of affected areas, assessment of damages, location and identification of victims, and delivery of relief goods and items such as food and medicine.