Overview of Drones in Security

Drones, unmanned aircraft vehicles, are used widely in various industries. Security, regardless of physical security or cyber safety draws more and more attention, especially in today’s generation. When it is concerned with security and drones, the first thought that occurs is military operations or scientific research. As technology advances, the competition in the marketplace continues to drive down drones’ prices. Therefore, drones are applied to various fields for security, ranging from border security to home surveillance.

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Border Security

The alarming increase of terrorist events all over the world increased the awareness of combating national security issues. Border monitoring is vital. Traditional methods of border surveillance consist of video cameras, ground sensors, land vehicles, and crewed aircraft. Yet, the fixed positions of cameras can miss crucial angles resulting in restrictions and severe inconveniences. Drones are gradually playing a significant role in border security compensating for these weaknesses.

Drones can offer real-time reconnaissance, target acquisition, tracking the movement of people, and illegal activities. Furthermore, it can monitor illegal activities (e.g. illegal border-crossing attempts) in mountainous areas and dense woods, where helicopters are unable to travel. Through wireless technology, these activities are transmitted immediately to mobile devices and corresponding regulations can be carried out. As a result, the high flexibility of drones allows for safeguarding the international border effectively.


Natural disasters perhaps disrupted the TBSs, and building a new one is immediately out of the question. Then as the great substitution, the drone equipped with wireless connectivity is operated to take pictures of the real-time circumstances and send it back to the rescue team. In general, the accuracy and immediacy of emergency information can decide to respond actions of firefighters, police, emergency medical services, search and rescue crews, and lifeguards. Based on the pictures or live video feeds forwarded by drones, the rescue team is authorized to analyze surroundings, estimate the number of injured people, and request assistance or additional supplies (e.g. masks in the terrorist attack with smoke bombs).

Meanwhile, they also need frequently updated information to help adjust their strategies for new possible problems. For instance, firefighters can assess the damage and improve the fire extinguishing process with the help of visuals sent from drones beforehand. Also, attached thermal imaging cameras can empower the drone’s ability to see through smoke and discover hidden victims.

Traffic Management

When an unexpected traffic accident happens, a drone can take bird’s-eye view pictures to present the all-rounded scene, which can be released by live broadcasting and social media. Informed by the instant detailed information of road conditions, drivers can change their routes to avoid the closed path, minimizing the possibility of traffic congestion. Furthermore, working with GPS, drones can map the location and report it simultaneously. Thus, it is more likely to ensure the rescue team reaches out to the venue of the traffic accident in a short time. In brief, the seamless cooperation between high-quality information transmitted by drones and practice by the rescue team increases the success rate of rescue operations.


Aid During Natural Disasters

Drones present immense preventive potential. However, even big oil and gas facilities cannot avoid natural disasters. The aftermath of extreme storms and hurricanes frequently leave roads blocked and many areas inaccessible for rescue teams. Drones can help carry out rescue missions and can be used as industrial inspectors, with the capability of examining and traveling around infrastructures, such as refineries and oil rigs, from a safe distance. Drones provide an essential bird’s-eye view to an industry that highly prioritizes safety and efficiency.

Drones allow companies to complete check-ups without putting at risk the safety of workers. This proves to be exceptionally useful during the aftermath of an unavoidable natural disaster or extreme weather, when sending out a rescue team to a site may be difficult, unsafe, and costly.

Home Security and Home Surveillance

The unmanned aircraft vehicle flying over the home sounds overkill, which only happens in scenarios of movies or fictions. But the real application of security drones to residential property has been creating an enormous buzz on social media in recent years. That is, a drone can be a guard dog for home security.

Home security drones are capable of offering an aerial observation and feedback around a house. Drones with more advanced technology can recognize an intruder and follow them at a discreet distance. Furthermore, packed with motion sensors, drones can trigger alerts and send notifications to smartphones. Infrared sensors enable drones to conduct actions at night, which tend to provide continuous surveillance, enhancing security. A similar application is also adapted to the security of commercial and industrial property, including monitoring possibly suspicious activities and reporting a potential breach.

However, the concern about privacy violation is arising as home security drones are used by millions of homeowners, especially in intensive populated urban areas.



Other Uses

Drones can detect suspicious activity in public areas, including vandalism and graffiti, theft, trespassing, suicide attempts, assault of staff and customers, terrorism, and sabotage. Video feeds can be critical pieces of proof for the police to look for suspects and find criminals.

Food security can also be indirectly guaranteed through soil health monitoring. Specifically, drones can scan the ground and detect the areas where a particular nutrient like nitrogen is lacking. Then farmers can conduct improvements precisely, which in turn can decrease energy waste.



In summary, drones mainly play three roles in the field of security. The drone is an assistant in combatting domestic and international criminal activities. When involved in an emergency, the drone can be a bridge connecting between the rescue team and real-time natural or humanmade disasters. Flying over the residential, commercial, and industrial property, the loyal guard can provide 360-degree surveillance and continuous detection equipped with the function of night vision. Directly speaking, security drones can contribute to “safer cities”. Meanwhile, as an affordable option, drones are embraced by more and more services referring to security.

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