Drone Digest

Articles we’re digging this week from around the net:

1. Establishing a Drone Business with Part 107 in Agriculture by Johnathan Barns

  via Commercial UAV News

via Commercial UAV News

The incentives to hone in on UAS consulting for agriculture are obvious: even part-time drone consultants can make $20,000 to $30,000 per year serving an industry that is always plagued by weather-related variables. Some of the most successful drone consultants make six figures or more.

2. These Drones And Humans Will Work Together In Hurricane Florence Recovery Efforts by Jennifer Kite-Powell

“Drones are increasingly used by emergency organizations to quickly collect reliable data from impacted areas that are unsafe or impossible for humans and other human-crewed vehicles to reach. This data allows response crews to identify which areas require immediate assistance, facilitate search and rescue efforts for survivors and survey damage for future rebuilding and insurance purposes.

3. State Farm Drones to Assess Hurricane Damage in First Approval

The flooding and other damage caused when Florence barreled ashore along the southeastern U.S. last week has become the latest proving ground for drones. Scores of them have been used by utilities, state and local emergency agencies, and others. They provide a bird’s eye view of damage or victims, and cameras and sensors can aid in mapping.

4. The use of drone-assisted remote sensing is ushering in an era of precision agriculture

A better understanding of the data and images gathered by the drone-borne instruments could lead to new ways for cranberry growers to detect insects and disease weeks sooner than traditional scouting forays on the ground. Such foreknowledge would allow them to treat threatened plants earlier and avert more widespread damage and crop loss, according to Luck. And because farmers would know more precisely where to spray, they could reduce pesticide use, which would be a major cost saver and a boon to ecosystems already overburdened by chemicals.

Top 7 Uses for Drones in Security and Public Safety

1. Search and Rescue

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When it comes to search and rescue missions, time is of the essence, with seconds being the difference between life and death. Unlike traditional manned aircraft, drones can be deployed quickly and easily, and cover huge swaths of land in mere minutes. Equipped with onboard sensors, they can easily spot missing persons, leading to speedy and successful recoveries.

2. Tactical Surveillance

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UAVs provide a new and critical point of view for inspecting areas that may have otherwise been too risky or conspicuous to assess. In these cases, flying a drone overhead provides the opportunity to get a detailed picture of the scene below without compromising operator safety. For instance, they can provide high-level feedback on illegal border crossing, the smuggling of assets, and theft in industrial environments. They can also provide a live stream of detailed data back to the operator to provide personnel with real-time, actionable intel that they can then use to assess potential threats and strategize a response.

3. Maritime Defense

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UAVs play an integral role in combating crime on our oceans. They can be used to monitor and analyze, nefarious vessel movements as well as track illegal fishing activity. The data provided by drone technology allows law enforcement to identify hazardous areas, determine potential assault locations and execute a more effective, targeted response to threats. 

4. Oil and Gas Security

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The scope, scale and remote location of many oil and gas facilities create a uniquely challenging set or security concerns. For instance, the prevention of pipeline sabotage, theft, and illegal trafficking. Long-range drones allow for efficient real-time surveillance of large areas from a secure base station, thereby mitigating risk and reducing profit loss. 

5. Event Security

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UAVs play an important role in security and safety at major events. This includes everything from crowd control and infrastructure security, to completing an initial security risk assessment and subsequently developing a unique security plan. In addition to providing a real-time aerial perspective, UAVs allow for rapid reaction and the visual documentation of sites leading to more effective future risk management and security planning.

6.  Traffic Management

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Monitoring traffic patterns is necessary for providing a detailed blueprint of the use and performance of our road networks. The data collected from UAVs can be used to support safety, performance and maintenance efforts on our roads and bridges. At present, many state and local authorities utilize helicopters to achieve an aerial perspective, however, UAVs can provide a much more efficient and reliable alternative. Today’s long-range drones use waypoint navigation, which allows them to be programmed to fly along predetermined routes repetitively for up to the minute data collection. Unmanned aircraft are also significantly cheaper than helicopters, meaning they can be deployed more often, thus increasing the overall performance of the traffic monitoring operations.

7. Anti-poaching

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Because poaching typically occurs in large parks and habitats, close, regular surveillance of these areas is quite difficult. Aerial surveillance via manned aircraft can be helpful in the fight against poaching, but with this comes high operating costs. A long-range surveillance drone is the perfect solution in these cases. Drones can be equipped with standard RGB cameras as well as thermal cameras and sniffers that allow them to detect poachers in even the most remote environments. Unmanned aircraft like the Albatross UAV from Applied Aeronautics can cover large areas at a fraction of the cost of a helicopter and can be kept on site for rapid deployment. Perhaps most importantly, drones like the Albatross, have a very low noise footprint, so they won’t disturb the animals or alert poachers to the presence of the drone.