There’s a reason why drones can be found in a wide range of industries.
The more advanced models often come with versatility, state-of-the-art tech and plenty of power.
Industrial activities incorporate the capabilities of drones to manoeuvre around inaccessible areas and collect raw data in an efficient manner.
The creative sector takes advantage of benefits offered by drones too, using high-quality cameras to capture aerial views from high above. Even the film scene is testing out using drones for automated scene direction.
However, demand for drones has increased for a separate reason altogether; surveillance.
What is drone surveillance?
In a nutshell, drone surveillance can be described as a way for individuals or authorities to gather and compile information about specific targets – from groups and environments to people of interest – through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The increasing complexities surrounding drone technology have enhanced the precision involved in collecting data.
Law enforcement is already on board
When it comes to applications for law enforcement efforts or initiatives set by immigration authorities, teams rely on drones for their ability to collect large amounts of data from multiple sources while remaining virtually undetectable.
These features can lead to incredible surveillance operations, enabling the comprehensive gathering of data on specific targets captured from a distance or at high altitudes.
For the past few years, UAVs have been used in a variety of crime-related missions, ranging from search and rescue operations and fugitive investigations to kidnappings and drug busts.
Modern drones are also able to link together different batches of data from multiple sources, which further reinforces the integrated nature of today’s technology. This makes it easier to track and identify criminal activity, or suspicious behaviour that needs to be monitored effectively across a variety of security components. Basic CCTV systems are no longer the pinnacle of security.
According to research by Dronefly, law enforcement agencies have a preference for unmanned aerial vehicles that are fitted with zoom, optical and thermal cameras that suit their operational requirements. Clear surveillance footage is often required as evidence of any laws being broken, so these preferences can make sense.
Drones and AI for the future of security
Other forms of technology related to the Internet of Things (IoT) like AI can go well with drones for security purposes. The frequency of errors can be drastically reduced. Government bodies get to use drones with technical features that aren’t allowed for civilian usage.
Drones operated by military forces can be used to carry out heavy-duty surveillance that’s focused on the movements and behaviour of hostile targets. These same drones are sometimes even equipped to destroy their targets.
Take the Gorgon Stare, for example. This military-grade surveillance drone juggernaut built by the Pentagon can simultaneously track a thousand moving targets all at once. Its wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) technology lets its camera observe a huge surface area. An entire city can be watched due to the greatly expanded camera aperture.
The Gorgon can zoom into specific parts of the ground imagery, bringing out significant detail while still being able to capture other things. To put things in perspective, an iPhone camera’s capacity is roughly 12 million pixels. The Gorgon Stare is fitted with a whopping 1.8 billion pixels (1.8 gigapixels). It is literally 150 times more powerful than the iPhone. This intimidating drone is a glimpse into the future of surveillance, and just how powerful UAVs can become.
Even Amazon is chiming in
You may have heard about Amazon’s Prime Air delivery drone. Aside from its delivery initiative, it seems that Amazon is also involved in providing a second offering; drones designed specifically for “surveillance as a service.”
The tech giant had to work out arrangements around how its drones are to monitor customers’ property. These observations are to be made between deliveries and they are supposed to keep the homeowner’s privacy intact.
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