What Are Drones?/a>

The worlds first public resource on UAS integration.

Give Drones a Chance

What comes to mind when someone mentions a "drone", or "UAV,"? If you instantly think of destroyed cities or targeted individuals, you are most likely unaware of the other half of the drone industry. The side that will bring in thousands of jobs, and provide people with services never seen before. Read on to explore the unmanned world; drone definitions, their place in society, future concerns and more!

This website is provided by the blog DroneThoughts .

Educating the public on the upcoming drone industry..

Drones in a nutshell

Take a plane, remove the pilot, attach some equipment to it, and shrink it down to the size of a beach ball, what do you get? An UAS of course. Give a pilot on the ground the controls, or better yet, an onboard gps unit with programmed points to go to, and congrats... You have just witnessed the birth of a multi-billion dollar industry with outcomes beneficial to the public. Expect to see these flying robots performing daily duties. From firefighting and powerline inspection, to crop management and disaster response, these remotely piloted aircraft will impact more people than we know right now.

Lets set the record straight..

If all you know about a drone is that they stalk and kill victims, I dont blame you. When the public is only exposed to news stories about military drones completing missions, its easy to see how one wouldn't want any device capable of such destruction near their home.

Notice how "military" and "completing missions" were highlighted? The drones they are referring to are just that, military specific. They were created with combat operations in mind. Think of those drones as a "tool" in operation. They do what their operators tell them to. Any mission, no matter how against morals it may appear, had or has a person behind its controls. Drones are only expensive wires and circuit boards, not evil people hunters.

Now let me introduce you to "Civilian" drones.

Pioneer Drones is becoming a leader in the UAS industry.
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What is it? Which is it?

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is what the name implies, a lightweight aircraft capable of autonomously carrying sensors safely and efficiently. It would be helpful to think of UAV's as an alternative to helicopters. Think of all of the sensors, cameras, storage containers, and equipment that current helicopters use. Now integrate those components on a drone and send it places a normal helicopter can or even cant go. This not only saves a ton of money, but creates new services, jobs, and products. Drones have the advantage in size and cost.

How do they work?

An UAS consists of many components and systems, but the basics are the controls and flying hardware. The controls instruct the device where to go and when. This can be done by remote control from a pilot, or be a pre-programmed GPS route. The hardware is the aircraft. Mainly electric powered, motors attached to propellers spin according to the user controls. The main piece of hardware, called a flight control board, interprets the signals from accelerometers, barometers, and more to accurately control the aircraft and relay that information to the ground. Using the GPS, the drone is capable of staying in one position with very little wondering, and with the help of an altitude sensor, the flight height stays constant as well. The weight of the battery and other components come into play on how long a drone can stay airborne. When the battery voltage gets low, or the transmission signal is lost, many drones have a Return To Home feature. Meaning a failsafe is in place to bring the aircraft back to its launch point when something concerning happens. Want to know the nitty gritty technical specs on what makes a drone function? Check out Drone101.com

The Name Debate: Drone vs UAV

Call it a Drone or UAV? Technically, saying Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is proper, but the word "drone" has become associated with anything that flies by itself or without a pilot. The terms have become interchangeable, as you may have noticed on this site. Saying one over the other does not make a difference. The "drone" nickname is okay, because who wants to say unmanned aerial vehicle over and over. Its quick, unique, and draws attention. But when news stories put the word 'drone' infront of 'attacks', a bad reputation creeps its way into public perception. Lets change that.

Military

What most people are familiar with. Or at least have heard about. Created by the government and for the government. These are mainly built for:

  • tactical support
  • observations and intelligence
  • target missions
  • battle support
While these seem pretty intense, they help keep our soldiers out of harms way, and provide better assistance when in a dangerous situation.

Civilian

Civilian drones are the next big industry. They will help us in many situations, and bring advancements in current industries. A drone that is civilian, means it was built to be placed in public or commercial applications. UAS's will have a place in society. They may not be welcomed at first, but there is a need for them.

With all of these new services, comes new jobs. From the manufacturing, to the store fronts, to the services and repair outlets. The jobs will be plentiful, but the pilots will be shorthanded.. (HINT HINT)

While military drones have their purpose, this website is about the education on Civil UAV integration. So just throw out your thoughts on those government drones for a second and ponder these facts before declaring your against an industry that hasnt even begun yet.

Size

Drones are made to be small and lightweight. How small? The average drone size is about a large beach ball. This has its advantages by increasing flight time or total payload carrying capacity. With lightweight, and cost-effective materials, drones have come down in size and price.

Capability

Drones are capable of flying in places helicopters cannot. While equipped with application specific hardware, UAV's make perfect candidates for tasks that require an aerial advanatge but that can be done without a human on board. This brings costs way down.

Detectable

Could something like this be undetectable? The sound given off my drones is tolerable but noticeable. This is a current hot topic. Not disturbing the public while wanting to be alert of their location at all times will be a hurtle to get over before the industry "takes off".

Job Growth

Reports from AUVSI estimate that 70,000 jobs will be created with this new industry and bring in around 90 billion dollars by 2025. From pilots, to service men, to stores, we will see a rush of companies very soon attempting to profit from this potential market. You can cash in as well using the services at DroneStartUp.

Updated Services

Imagine a food delivery service where you open an app, pay for some food, and minutes later a drone drops it off in your front yard! Its possible! Services such as emergency response, search and rescue, and real time traffic monitoring will be integrated with this new technology. See Drone101 for an extended service list.

Privacy

This is a huge debate and is currently being discussed within the FAA on how to handle personal rights when it comes to national airspace. The concerns here are the potential stalker acts one could do with a drone. This may seem scary, but provisions will make sure no UAV is hovering over your backyard.

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What exactly would we use them for?

Civilian drones will have many purposes from humanitarian to commercial. All of the possibilities are exciting and bring new services and products with them. Which in turn makes for happy people and a healthy economy. Whats wrong with that?

Search & Rescue

When you happen to get lost somewhere in a forest and night has fallen, a helicopter flies in with a thermal camera onboard to scan the enviroment for your body heat. Now add a drone. Say you can deploy as many as 10 UAV's for the same cost as a helicopter, this would allow teams to cover 10x the area, or the same area 10x quicker.

News

The news reporters love to have access to large events and stories from the safety of the sky. Small drones with live feed cameras will bring the action viewed from above, to TV crews, law enforcement, and other users. Drone Journalism will become popular.

Agriculture

This may be the largest sector of the new industry. The improvements that an overhead aircraft could bring may shake the agriculture chain right down to the consumer prices. From crop inspections to precise fertilizer applications, money will be saved and better spent on future farms.

Real Estate

Really want to sell your house? Make it stand out from the rest in a good way. Take a picture that incorporates the whole house and property with the aerial photography UAV's will bring. Highlight the landscaping, or the spacious backyard, all in one picture that looks professional because of the angle it was taken from.

Surveillance

This is a touchy one. Using a drone to monitor a prison or national boarder is totally fine, but what about a school? Or how about a city with a crime problem, would using drones as a police tool be acceptable? These are things that need to be worked out and regulated before the general public will be even semi okay to drones.

Delivery

Everything from tacos to small packages, going up and over a city means no red lights or train crossings to wait for. You dont even have to give a tip! This may be awhile in the future yet, but who knows. One company is rumored to be setting up such a treat to society on kickstarter. Join the movement today.

These are just a few tasks out of the many that drones will be called in for. Please check out Drone101 for a more complete service list.

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UAV Examples

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Drone Talk & F.A.Q.

This new industry brings with it new terms to understand as well as questions that need answering. These are just the basic's, want a more in depth Q&A? Visit DroneAnswers.com

Drone Glossary

  • AP- Aerial Photography, taling pictures midair
  • AUVSI-Association for Unamnned Vehicle Systems International
  • COA- Certificate of Approval, from the FAA to fly your drone
  • ESC- Electronic Speed Control, what keeps the propellers spinning
  • FAA- Federal Aviation Administration, who makes the rules on anything that flies
  • FPV- First Person Video, live footage from an UAV
  • GCS- Ground Control Station, flight hardware and system controls setup
  • GPS- Global Positioning Satellites, making autopilots work
  • MAV- Micro Aerial Vehicle, a small UAV
  • PIC- Pilot in Command, who is currently operating the drone
  • RTL- Return to Launch, fail safe feature bring the drone back to its spot of takeoff
  • UAS- Unmanned Aerial System, all the components together
  • UAV- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, the aircraft itself
What are drones?
Lightweight aircraft to perform duties and services from
Drone or UAV?
Some prefer UAV, others want to keep Drone, either one works
What can they do?
More like what can't they do? Everything from scientific research to film making
How long can they fly for?
Depends on the battery, flying conditions, payload, etc. But usually around 10-30 minutes
They wont be at my window?
Of course not, rules and regulations will be coming out against that
I dont want to trust them...
I'm sorry to hear that, hopefully I can convince you otherwise
Who will be flying them and when?
Skilled pilots or it may be completely autonomus and could be as soon as 2015
There is a community of people that support this idea?
Go to DroneThougts.com to talk with other supporters or just people who are interested
This was a lame FAQ / Q&A, got a better one?
You bet! DroneAnswers.com provides a complete list of questions and answers
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What else?

Now that you may actually be interested in the UAV industry, please spread the word so people will have time to think before the shock of seeing one without knowing what it is. Or considering making a donation to the myDrone campaign to officially spread the word. More on that to come.

Thankyou for exploring this website and please send me feedback on it. We are trying to get the conversation on future drone usage started, talk about it with a friend today.

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