The United States (US) military today uses unmanned aero vehicles or UAV’s for surveillance, intelligence gathering, and in some cases to take out threats. Surveillance UAV’s for military applications, such as the Global Hawk, cost about $131 million per aircraft [Ref. 1]. Commercial use of drones was once thought to only be science fiction, and was depicted in old cartoons like “The Jetsons,” but technology has come a long way and drones are now becoming a reality. With robotics and technology today, affordable domestic drones can be developed for commercial use and be completely automated.
Introduction / Background
Pilotless aircraft date back to World War I and are still used by ...view middle of the document...
Law enforcement can utilize drones to survey or “case out” a location before approaching a potentially dangerous site. Drones can also be used by law enforcement to follow and monitor suspects of interest.
Some Potential Problems with Using Drones Domestically
Because domestic drones would be sharing commercial airspace with manned planes and aircraft, rules and regulations need to be in place to govern where drones can fly [Ref. 6]. Drones need to fly high enough to avoid hitting things like traffic lights, electric transmission lines, and buildings, but also low enough to avoid hitting passenger planes that fly to and from airports. Set flying paths for drones should be established to maintain safe and orderly transportation of goods to and from locations. Another potential danger is drones colliding with other drones accidentally in mid-air. A potential solution is to equip every domestic drone and commercial aircraft with some type of tracking device. The tracking device would let each drone know what other drones or commercial aircrafts are nearby. The detection range of the tracking device would have to be far enough to allow the drone time to take evasive actions. This would help prevent accidental mid-air collisions. Another way to reduce the chance of two...