WHAT IS A DRONE
Drones have been around for years, and they are used for different purposes and can be of help in numerous occasions. However, these devices have become more popular in recent times and their application increases rapidly in various fields. But first of all, let’s answer the main question: “what is a drone and how we can define it”.
The word “drone” has several different meanings and it origins from old English word drān, drǣn, which means ‘male bee’. When talking about a drone as an electric device, we thinking of missile or a remote-controlled pilotless aircraft.
So, what is a drone definition for this unmanned aerial vehicle? One of the most used definitions for drone is: “An unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond the line of sight”. Another frequently used definition is: “Drone is any unmanned aircraft or ship that is guided remotely”.
No doubt, drones are among the most advanced devices in today’s aeronautics, electronics and robotics alike. In the following text, you can find out more about the drones, how they work, what are their main features, their applications in a variety of fields, types of drones, and the future of drones.
HOW DO DRONES WORK AND WHAT ARE THEIR MAIN FEATURES?
In order to understand better how drones fly and work, we need to know something basic about the construction of a typical drone.
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.
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 click here: http://dronesuavreport.com
There are different variations in the frame and construction of drones, but the essential components that every drone must have is a waterproof motor frame, flight and motor controllers, motors, transmitter and receiver, propellers, and batteries or any other source of energy.
Yes, these small aerial acrobats are able to pack a lot of accessories into their metal or plastic frames. Most drones are ready-to-use, however, some people like building a drone themselves using kits, and to get more familiar with that topic, we suggest reading our article about the best drone kids and why are they the best.
Drones are used in many areas and what’s more, there is no end when it comes to their possibilities. Therefore, the areas of applications are numerous today and there is the growing use of drones all around the world.
Especially, the micro drones have become widely used lately due to their small size.
Main areas of applications:
- 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.
- Inspections – Many systems such as power lines, wind turbines, and pipelines can be checked by drones.
- Surveillance – A drone allows recording and monitoring from the sky, and therefore, they are suitable to monitor public events, protests, or any suspicious happening without being heard and seen. A great tool for the police!
- 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 (measuring contamination), in glacier surveillance, to observe a volcanic eruption, etc.
- Aerial photography & video – With a drone that is equipped with an HD camera, you can take the fascinating photos and shot footage of great quality from the sky.
- 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. This way, you can have a safe, environmentally friendly and fast transport of goods by air, and you can find out more about this topic by reading our article about delivery drones check this
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DIFFERENT TYPES OF DRONES
Classification of the drones may sound impossible, due to the fact there are a lot of different models, with different features, sizes, and price. The only way we can classify them is by size.
NANO AND MINI DRONES
The smallest drones on the planet are members of these categories. They can be divided into two groups: Nano and Mini drones.
Nano drones are the smallest and they usually have the same dimensions as insects. On the other side, mini drones can reach up to 50cm in length and they have more powerful electric motors and better features than Nano drones.
In general, models from both categories are used by the military, in spying and smaller tasks, due to the fact they can be easily maneuvered and they can reach remote locations. On the other side, there are several models on the market that are available to ordinary consumers, and to find out more about them, we suggest checking out our article about micro (nano) quadcopters. They have a very small radius, between 1 and 3 km and they cannot fly more than 10-20 minutes.
DRONES WITH SMALL SIZES
Drones from this group have dimensions between 50 cm and 2 m. They don’t have powerful motors so they must be thrown into the air, in order to start flying.
These products are also very popular on the market because they have great features and they are more affordable than bigger drones.
These drones are also the most common type of drones available to average customers. Simply said, most drones that you can see on the market are members of this group. All of them have a radius of 5 km and they can fly between 20 and 40 minutes.
DRONES WITH MEDIUM SIZES
Every drone that has a wingspan between 5 and 10 m falls into the medium category. These drones can carry up to 200 kg of weight and they have powerful motors.
In addition, a single person cannot carry a drone from this group, so they are not a common choice of ordinary people.
These drones are usually used for transporting goods, to remote locations and by the military. Keep in mind that these drones are still smaller and lighter than other light aircraft. They can fly up to 50 km and their flying time can be long as 6 hours.
A drone with a wingspan bigger than 10m is a member of this group. In general, these drones have the same dimensions as smaller aircraft and they are used by the army. A civilian cannot buy this drone, due to the fact it is treated as an aircraft.
Most drones are equipped with weapons and missiles, so they are used in tactical attacks or when sending human pilots is a high risk. It is believed that big drones will completely replace the aircraft that require a pilot in the near future.
Due to the fact that there are a lot of different drones from this group, they can be classified in these smaller, groups:
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- Short range models. They can fly up to 150 km and more than 11 hours.
- Drones withy medium range. These drones can have a range of 650 km and they are commonly used in weather forecasting.
- Drones with the longest radius. Drones from this group can fly up to 30.000 ft. above the sea level and they can stay in the air more than 36 hours. The main goal of these drones is to reach remote distances.
5 essential facts about drones
Do a search in any browser for “drone crashes,” and you’ll get a list of headlines that a few years ago might have read like they were pulled straight from a science fiction novel.
“US Open match interrupted due to drone crashing into stadium.”
“Civilian drone crashes into Army helicopter.”
“Candy-dispensing drone crashes into crowd injuring 6.”
Drones have become increasingly commonplace in public spaces. More drones flying above our parks, stadiums and tourist attractions, even passing down our neighborhood streets, means higher risk for something to go wrong. The previous headlines attest that things do go wrong and when they do, property may be damaged or injuries may occur.
Statistics from early this year show that more than 770,000 drone registrations were filed with the federal government in a 15-month period, and the Federal Aviation Administration forecasts that over 7 million drones will be sold in the U.S. by 2020. That sort of traffic increase will inevitably lead to an increase in accidents. How will this affect the in insurance industry?
Potential losses caused by drones
There are numerous scenarios that can lead to drone-related losses, and some of the more common ones that may result in insured losses include:
- Drone crashes causing personal injury or damage to property.
- Drone flyaways or crashes resulting in claims to repair or replace the drone.
- Drone collisions with manned aircraft.
- Fires originating from drone batteries or other electronics causing property damage.
- Litigation arising from drone privacy invasion claims.
Investigating drone-related claims
As with any type of loss, potential causes for drone accidents are numerous and varied. Operator error, a hardware failure, a software issue or GPS or control signal interference are some potential causes of a drone accident. As drone systems become more complex and flight operations more extensive, additional causes will arise.
Drone data retrieval
For many claims involving drones, the most valuable information for reconstructing the events leading up to the accident will be contained in flight data stored on the drone itself or on the associated ground control unit. There are numerous proprietary drone systems available on the market, and expertise is needed to identify, retrieve and interpret the data. Additionally, retrieval of deleted photos or videos from the drone may provide important information.
Understanding restrictions & regulations
A comprehensive understanding of applicable FAA flight restrictions as well as state and local regulations may be key to determining liability. Restrictions vary significantly with location and will continue to change frequently as drone technology evolves.
Weather analysis & manufacturer specifications
Analysis of recorded weather data in combination with a review of performance and limitation specifications from the manufacturer of the drone will be helpful in determining whether environmental factors may have contributed to the accident.
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