Applications for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Unmanned Aerial VehiclesThanks in large part to the military applications of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the regular media coverage of their use, most everyone is familiar with “drones.”

As with many technologies that find their inception in the military, aerospace and research incubators, UAV technology has migrated to the consumer and commercial areas.

Geographic Mapping & Surveying

One industry that adopted drones early on and quickly put their capabilities to use was the surveying industry. UAVs ability to assist with 3D scanning of topography is outstanding. Drones can access difficult-to-reach areas and locations and generate 3D mapping. UAV can access places that are too difficult or dangerous for a person to reach using standard 3D scanning surveying equipment. Moreover, in many instances, UAVs can also scan large swaths of landscapes faster than a human can.

Infrastructure Safety Inspections

From pipelines to refineries, to infrastructure inspections, drones help keep people and the vital framework of the economy. In the petrol-chemical industry, drone are used to scan pipelines for areas that are at risk of failure. UAVs equipped with infrared, sonar and other sensors help detect leaks, metal fatigue, and cracks. Drones provide a fast and efficient option for inspections where hundreds of miles of pipeline must be analyzed. In recent years our aging infrastructure – bridges, overpasses, and tunnels – have fallen into disrepair and in many cases, these bridges and overpasses have gone years without a complete inspection. To help tackle the backlog of inspections, many civil engineering firms, state agencies, and infrastructure safety firms are bringing drones into play.

Aerial Filming & Photography

UAVs equipped with cameras provide an entirely new view that filmmakers, photographers, and realtors use to help them tell a story or frame an image from a new perspective. Hollywood has quickly leveraged UAVs to create powerful visuals from angles and perspective that were either very difficult or impossible to capture. In fact, some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster movies have relied heavily on drones to bring the action to life and push the visual storytelling to new territory. The James Bond franchise installments Skyfall and Spectre both used UAVs. Jurassic World and The Wolf of Wall Street also used drones to great effect.


Sporting events inherently call for better ways to bring fans closer to the action. Sports broadcasters use drones to capture state-of-the-art images. Moreover, as drones have become readily available and very affordable for consumers, UAVs are now a competitive sport. With at least two leagues with funding, drone racing events are popping up on the coasts. UAV racing leagues use drones to map out the course design and film the actual race. Using large spaces such as warehouses or renovated buildings and with cash purses, drone racing is growing rapidly in popularity and will become the next “X” sport.

As more industries and professions integrate drones to solve their challenges or help increase sales, new uses for UAVs will be discovered, and they will become more commonplace and a valuable tool for companies.


If you want to learn more about how your company can benefit from integrating drones into its business, we recommend visiting our UAV drone partner Advanced UAV Solutions.


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