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Drone Technology and the Future Essay

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Updated: Feb 10th, 2019

The book, “Outliers”, discusses a variety of factors that influence unimaginable success in various fields by incorporating evidence of the achievements of individuals such as Bill Gates and Joseph Flom, and groups like the Beatles. The author, Malcolm Gladwell, examines the influence of different backgrounds on an individual’s intelligence and the ability to arrive at a rational decision.

Malcolm places a lot of emphasis on the need for persistence and dedication when pursuing an objective by repeatedly stating, “Elite performers had totaled 10,000 hours of practice” in their occupation (Gladwell 38). The book highlights the fact that societal settings and notions greatly hamper the realization of the full potential of most people.

Malcolm illustrates that people who achieve outstanding success often appear as rebellious and misfits in the context of the society’s perception of achievement. The author focuses on individuals whose level of success goes beyond the imagination of most people and challenges the reader to analyze the interplay of factors such as family, culture and friendships in influencing the achievements of successful people.

Malcolm claims that successful people get opportunities and resources that are not available to other people, which give them an upper hand in realizing their dreams. An analysis of the history of the drone technology highlights the concept of the 10,000 Hour Rule considering that modern high-tech UAVs came into being due to the initiatives of the19th century scientists and the improvements by their successors.

The preciseness and robustness of modern drones took several decades to achieve just the like the Beatles who achieved greatness by dedicating a lot of time into their music career between 1960 and 1964. The idea of drones dates back to the 19th century when Austrians used unmanned balloons to bomb Venice and later advanced during the First and Second World Wars mainly in Germany, Israel and the United States.

The balloons had limited range, efficiency and precision due to unfavorable winds and the need for very strong batteries to generate electromagnetic fields to fire the bombs. The invention of winged aircrafts advanced the idea of the Austrians regarding unmanned vehicles that pilots could control from a distance. After the First World War, research on radio-controlled aircrafts continued mainly in Britain and the U.S with researchers ascribing the term “drone” to aerial targets controlled using radio systems.

The tactics employed in modern warfare focus on inflicting the greatest damage on the enemy while ensuring minimal risks on personnel. The invention of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has led to a significant decline in the loss of personnel in combat zones. The highly sophisticated telecommunication systems installed in drones allow a crew, positioned miles away, to maneuver the vehicle into dangerous combat zones.

The use of satellite communication links and GPS systems to control the flight of drones such as the Predator and Global Hawk has significantly improved the range for UAVs allowing communication with pilots located thousands of miles away from the vehicle. The control system of a drone may include onboard computer systems or transmitters and receivers that allow remote control from a ground station.

While the launch and recovery of the first prototype of UAVs relied on remote piloting, modern drones mostly employ the concept of autonomous control. Although the concept of drone technology arose in response to the need to reduce the trauma and casualties associated with the crash of military aircrafts and to perform risky operations, there has been an increasing use of drones in civil applications.

“A growing number of entities are using drones for tasks such as policing and patrol, firefighting, surveillance and reconnaissance” (McManus 100). The versatility of drones has seen an increased use of the vehicles in news coverage and documentation of events such as the Sochi Olympics and recent political protests in Bangkok and Thailand.

The future of UAVs seems bright with the current research on Stealth Technology, Thrust Vectoring and supercomputing to allow, “A new era of UVAs that send data on high-bandwidths in real-time through air, water and space” (Springer 193). With the increasing use of drones by civilians, the vehicles will become a necessary acquisition for performing routine surveillance and maintenance tasks in homes, schools and business premises.

The declining cost of manufacturing drones and availability of customized and miniature vehicles has enabled people to own drones at a cost of about 500 dollars. The field of geographic information systems (GIS) will greatly expand in the future in response to the development of drones for all purposes. GIS is at the center of the effective operation of drones because the vehicles rely on software and hardware that allows the analysis and manipulation of spatial and attribute data in real-time.

Geographic referencing facilitates the analysis of patterns and trends in locations, which are easy to present on screens, maps and charts and integrate into network systems. The advancement in the drone technology offers an opportunity through which an intelligent and driven person can attain great success just like in the analysis of successful people in the Outliers.

Works Cited

Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers: the story of success. New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2008. Print.

McManus, Ron . The Drone Enigma. New York: Morgan James Publishing, 2014. Print.

Springer, Paul. Military robots and drones: a reference handbook. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2013. Print.

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