An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), also known as drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. Its flight is controlled either autonomously by computers in the vehicle or with the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle. The launch and recovery method of an unmanned aircraft is by the function of an automatic system or an external operator on the ground.
They are usually deployed of military and special operation applications, but also used in a small but growing number of civil applications, such as policing and firefighting , and nonmilitary security work, such as surveillance of pipelines. UAVs are often preferred for missions that are too “dull, dirty or dangerous” for manned aircraft.
The birth of U.S. UAVs (called RPVs at the time) began in 1959 when United States Air Force (USAF) officers, concerned about losing pilots over hostile territory, began planning for the use of unmanned flights. This plan became intensified when Francis Gary Powers and his “secret”U-2 were shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960.
a UAV is defined as a “powered, aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator, uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expendable or recoverable, and can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload”
The only reason we need (UAVs) is that we don’t want to needlessly expend the man in the cockpit.”
As a tool for search and rescue , UAVs can help find humans lost in the wilderness, trapped in collapsed buildings, or adrift at sea.
including aerial surveying of crops, acrobatic aerial footage in filmmaking, search and rescue operations, inspecting power lines and pipelines, and counting wildlife, delivering medical supplies to remote or otherwise inaccessible regions, with some manufacturers rebranding the technology as “unmanned aerial systems” (UASs) in preference over “drones.
In the private sector, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bozos ‘ December 2013 announcement that Amazon is planning rapid delivery of lightweight commercial products using UAVs was met with skepticism, with perceived obstacles including federal and state regulatory approval, public safety, reliability, individual privacy, operator training and certification, security (hacking), payload thievery, and logistical challenges.