What Are The Different Types of Drone Surveillance?

When we think of the many advances in aircraft that define modern flight, we often jump to commercial jets and other manned modes of transportation. However, the highly complex capabilities of unmanned aircraft are often forgotten. Drones in particular have made surveillance of otherwise inaccessible swaths of land possible in the form of still images, video recordings or even live video of targets. Depending on the situation, surveillance drones can provide valuable information and intelligence used for vital decision making within governments, militaries, commercial entities, and law enforcement. As they fulfill many roles, this blog will offer an overview of the different types of drones available for surveillance and the unique characteristics of each.

Similar to manned aircraft, drones are available as fixed-wing or multi-rotor for different purposes. Fixed-wing aircraft are mainly used to surveille large areas of land because their flight endurance is high and they can remain in flight for long periods of time without requiring a refuel or recharge. These drones might be observed along coastlines, borders and long sections of road and infrastructure. As the name suggests, the wings on these UAVs are fixed in place and do not spin in the fashion of multirotor drones. Meanwhile, multirotor drones are used for smaller areas as they have the ability to hover in place and are generally more maneuverable.

An additional tactic used with surveillance drones is to use tethered surveillance drones, those of which comprise a hovering drone tethered to a power source on the ground via cable. The cable directly transmits videos, pictures, and all surveillance information to operators on the ground. As the drone must hover, this tactic requires multirotor quadcopter UAVs rather than fixed-wing UAVs.

For situations that require less constant operation, one might employ tactical drones. These drones are equipped with specialized surveillance payloads which means they are programmed with specific instructions for what to monitor or track. A range of payloads are available to suit different surveillance needs, such as military battlefield ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), border patrol, and force protection. An example of payloads being used for surveillance purposes are the types of cameras used to detect color. While a drone with the payload of an optical camera will transmit high-definition information on colors as they appear to the naked eye, a drone with the payload of thermal cameras will transmit information in the form of “false color” images. Depending on the application, a drone may be equipped with both payloads.

As smaller, cheaper, and quieter alternatives to unmanned aircraft, drones are great additions to any entities looking for access to areas that may be difficult or impossible to reach by humans on foot or in land vehicles. By monitoring areas like battlefields or crime scenes, surveillance drones provide a newfound level of safety in many aspects of our daily lives. When you require reliable surveillance drone components for your operations, look no further than Buy Aviation Parts!

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