In the current corporate atmosphere, drone technology is seen as a near limitless avenue for expansion and opportunity. Data collection, aerial imagery and small package delivery are the most frequently talked about for civilian uses – but drone surveillance is becoming increasingly important for law enforcement and security purposes. Stationary security cameras are easily avoided and rarely have an advantageous position to properly assist with facial recognition. Likewise, hiring enough security personnel to have eyes on an entire facility at once is prohibitively expensive.
Recent advances in both drone technology and wireless data transfer systems have created an environment where unmanned aerial vehicles can significantly augment security. For example, a fleet of surveillance drones can provide high resolution images from multiple angles. When integrated with a central processing system, this can be used to provide a much more complete facial image than would be possible with stationary cameras. This allows rapid identification in the case of fugitives or missing persons, and further triangulation from the drone locations can quickly locate the person of interest.
Governmental agencies of the United States have also used high-altitude drone flights for surveillance purposes, stretching back many years now. They have seen great success in military theaters, but also in drug interdiction programs within the United States. Drone surveillance performed in this manner is quieter, less dangerous for personnel and often less intrusive than manned aircraft. It allows agencies such as the US Coast Guard or Border Patrol to follow the full route of suspect shipments coming in and out of the country.
As flight time and network speed increase, drone technology for security and surveillance is sure to become more common place. Current legislation prevents commercial pilots from operating their drones over people or out of visual sight – but with appropriate waivers there is an expanding market for private security businesses that operate using cutting-edge commercial drone technology to protect private installations and locations. Dangerous work sites and remote locations, with the proper considerations ahead of time, can be monitored entirely from a more convenient, centralized office – solely through the use of UAV technology.