The modern world has engineered one of the most advanced technologies in aeronautics, as sometimes there is a dire need for Unmanned Aircraft Systems or UAV–Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles. Moreover, it can be used for several things, including geospatial data gathering (Barnhart et al., 2012).
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This gives a chance to take a closer look at the environment and allows an option in better controlling natural and human made disasters. With relatively few problems, the benefits of using UAS have many advantages over the traditional piloted technology.
Primarily, there are several types of UAVs. Some of them have an automatic control while others are remotely controlled “drones”. There are several important criteria that play a role in the purpose of the UAV. Parameters like mass, time, distance of flight and height, are all determinants in the design and function of the vehicle. One of the uses is for the monitoring of disasters, combined with a low deployment cost.
The sensors on the UAVs provide important information that can be used in prediction of a cataclysm. The data is stored and analyzed which results in a mapping of the objective and effective response. There are also two types of takeoff—one is vertical (VTOL), the other is conventional (CTOL) (Barnhart et al., 2012). VTOL is more maneuverable which gives it an advantage with the change in atmospheric and other physical conditions.
Because they are easy to deploy, the number is rather high, giving a chance to cover large areas and analyze greater amounts of information. The sensors on UAVs have several uses, from video recording, to scanning of radiation levels and infrared rays.
In the end, the types of sensors that are going to be used need to be in working balance with the mass of the UAV. Not only there is an ability to record and store information, a person can watch a live feed from the camera’s mounted on the UAV.
One of most valued functions of the UAVs is that it has become one of the widely used defense systems and has proven to be very effective. It creates many possibilities of control and lowers the risk of an attack. The United States have focused on the development of strategic advances that could deliver maximum field effectiveness and safety for the army personnel.
The characteristics of flight also differentiate types of controls used in defense or combat. The navigation system itself gives a unique use to each UAV, not to mention the propelling forces and several other parameters (Rasmussen, 2009). The link to the satellite makes the UAV very useful in receiving data from several sources and quick manipulation and adjustments to the flight and destination characteristics.
The fact that all equipment is digital, allows for precise and reliable identification of the needed data. The United States is one of the recognized leaders in UAVs and their use in all sorts of missions. The primary concern is the safety of the country, so more than half of all air force consists of UAVs (Austin, 2011).
The lower costs when bought in bulk, as well as an impressive length of flight make it a perfect possession to the army, not to mention the safety of the operators. The following chart outlines the use of UAVs:
A quickly developing use of a civil UAV is making its way into the scientific world. It gives a chance to study the environment, and to show how it interacts with different systems on the Earth and what effects they have on the humanity. Mostly, they are used for governmental reasons, but a great number is functioning as rescue and prevention vehicle.
The ability to scan the area and provide precise and applicable mapping, clearly illustrates the benefit of having such technology. For natural disasters, which also can make use of optical sensor, it calculates the trajectory of flight to the target. This sort of navigation is widely used in any weather conditions and time of day (Savla, K2007).
Although, there is a disadvantage in maneuvering and visual locating system, other qualities make up for it. Radio beam and laser beam guidance systems are commonly used with a focused beam of a signal or laser pointer. The pilot holds the object of target in line, the tracer of a UAV and the sights. Radio beam targeting is sometimes called a method of three points targeting.
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Laser targeting uses a laser beam that is set up by the source local or distant. Thermal and movement guiding are very common, as they use heat and movement tracing of the target, which makes them very effective in fire rescue situations (Rosenberg, 2009).
One of the most recent examples where UAVs would be able to do a lot of rescue and preventative work is the tsunami in Japan. The prevention and disaster response are a great determinant in how many people and property are saved. As the water was coming in very quickly and in great amounts, there was little time for people to take proper safety positions (Takeuchi, 2012).
If there are several “drones” that are patrolling the area, their speed and ability to transmit messages, videos and predictive data, would give people more time to evacuate. Also, the amount of damage would be visible, so the government would be able to see how serious the force is. The ability to take an overview look means a lot when it must be known which direction the water is heading.
The recovery efforts would be much better organized, as it would be faster to organize and allow for more efficient extraction. As a result, the response time would be much lower and proper equipment and measures can be provided. It is difficult to say if the use of UAVs would save people from exposure to harmful elements or environmental factors because if there is no ability to evacuate people, little can be done.
Of course, it would be possible to deliver some equipment to the site of the disaster, but it is an option that could be qualified even without UAVs (Fahlstrom, 2012). One guarantee is that the leaders would have better understanding of the environment and conditions if there was a system of constant monitoring.
In some cases, it would create a possibility of preventing casualties, but when looking at complete prevention of a disaster, it would be difficult to guarantee 100%. So far, the technology has proven very beneficial for all sorts of uses in data analysis, prevention and monitoring. Overall, the UAS is beneficial and has many applications in the safety of any nation.
Austin, R. (2011). Unmanned Aircraft Systems: UAVS Design, Development and Deployment. West Sussex, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons.
Barnhart, R., Hottman, S., Marshall, M. & E., Shapee. (2012). Introduction to unmanned aircraft systems. Boca, Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis Group.
Fahlstrom, P. (2012). Introduction to UAV Systems. West Sussex, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons.
Rasmussen, S. (2009). UAV Cooperative Decision and Control: Challenges and Practical Approaches. Philadelphia, PA: SIAM.
Red, C. (2009). The Outlook for Unmanned Aircraft. Composites World. Web.
Rosenberg, A. (2009). An Evaluation of a UAV Guidance System with Consumer Grade GPS Receivers. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest.
Savla, K. (2007). Multi UAV Systems with Motion and Communication Constraints. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest.
Takeuchi, Y. (2012). East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Singapore: Research Publishing Service.