An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is a small aircraft used for surveillance purposes. These drones are remotely operated and must remain within the visual range of the remote pilot or person controlling its flight. This means that they must be visible without the aid of a video screen or other visual aid. Some areas of the world are off-limits for UAV operations, however. They cannot operate over people who are not directly involved in the operation. Also, they cannot fly over a covered structure or inside a stationary vehicle. They must yield to other aircraft.
While the military has been one of the leading forces in the development of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), it is only recently that the technology has become available to civil users. Until recently, they were primarily a hobby for radio controlled model aircraft pilots. Today, the use of unmanned aircraft has expanded greatly.
Although the development of UAV technology has been a long process, the first commercially available drones were developed in the 1980s. Israeli Defense Forces equipped their small drones with infrared cameras, target designators, and laser-guided munitions. These systems proved effective in battlefield surveillance, and the United States government purchased the first Israeli models and produced them under license. These systems have remained in use and proven themselves in a variety of missions.
Although the first UAVs were developed to perform military missions, they have since been used for many civilian applications. These applications include aerial photography, product delivery, policing, surveillance, science, and smuggling. In some cases, UAVs have been used for smuggling and illegal activities. They are often called unmanned aircraft for safety and security reasons. Some types of UAVs are smaller than other UAVs, while others are larger.
The global unmanned aerial vehicle market was valued at US$ 19,365.8 Mn in 2019 and is expected to reach US$ 68,983.0 Mn by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 16.3% between 2021 and 2028.North America held dominant position in the global unmanned aerial vehicle market in 2019, accounting for 37.2% share in terms of value, followed by Europe, and Asia Pacific.
A UAV has a wide variety of applications. The military and the police have used UAVs in the field to find missing people in the wilderness, and the military has used them to inspect public utility lines. The military has also used them to locate victims of disasters, such as those adrift at sea. These unmanned aerial vehicles are also useful for a variety of other civilian applications.
A UAV can provide the military with coverage and seamless information transfer. The UAV can also perform cross-member interaction with the military. In Totten (2014), several case studies were presented on the use of remote-piloted aircraft in the military. The RQ-4 Global Hawk is a jet-powered craft with a wingspan of 116 feet and a flight endurance of 36 hours. A small version of a UAV is used in urban environments to provide coverage for ground combat units.
A UAV is a useful tool in humanitarian efforts. Its unmanned nature distinguishes it from manned aircraft and poses a set of moral concerns. While some people believe that fighting with machines lacks integrity, others argue that it can save lives. Besides, unmanned UAVs are cheaper and easier to build and maintain than manned aerial vehicles. A single drone can be used in a humanitarian mission, but the risk of civilian casualties is greater than with a manned aircraft.