• 6 Oct 2022
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What is a Drone and What Are Drones Used For?

Our in-depth look at drones begins by answering the questions: What is a drone, and what are drones used for?

First of all, let’s remember that drones have military origins and were employed in the 1930s by the British, who developed a radio-controlled target called the “Queen Bee.” This became a reference model for the Americans, who named their version “drone.”

During World War II, alongside the production of radio-controlled targets (“target drones”), unmanned small-sized aircraft without pilots were also developed and used in both military and civilian contexts.

The term “drone” is commonly used to refer to aircraft, but drones can also be of other types, such as ground-based and aquatic drones.

Aerial drones, also known as APR (Remotely Piloted Aircraft), are characterized by the absence of an onboard pilot and are operated by a ground-based pilot through a flight control system that ensures flight stability through various control applications.

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In addition to the acronym APR, you may also encounter the acronym SAPR, which stands for Remotely Piloted Aircraft System.

The difference between these two terminologies is related to the non-exclusively recreational or leisure use of the aircraft. When referring to a “system,” it emphasizes the professional purpose of using the aircraft.

When referring to a “system,” it emphasizes the professional purpose of using the aircraft.

Regarding the use of drones, the potential applications are numerous: territorial monitoring and surveillance, military security, traffic monitoring, environmental surveys, aerial photography, inspections of facilities and infrastructure, agriculture, investigations in solar parks, water quality control, and first response in critical events such as fires, explosions, or other disasters.

The use of drones is subject to specific regulations that protect individuals’ privacy and ensure aviation safety with precise limitations. The ENAC (Italian Civil Aviation Authority) regulations for drones establish weight limits, required distances, maximum altitude, and an absolute prohibition on operating in ATZ (Aerodrome Traffic Zone) areas.

Among the fields where drones have achieved particular success in application are:

  • Engineering and Surveying
  • Urban planning, architecture, and archaeology
  • Environmental management and agriculture

The reasons for the success of this technology in these application areas can be attributed to its inherent design nature. Drones allow for surveying and monitoring operations in conditions that would otherwise be dangerous and hostile for people.

Novatest offers professionals in the surveying field the best drones available on the market. If you are interested in learning more about the technologies we provide, please contact us.

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