May 15, 2015

The Civil Drone: Non-Kinetic Applications of Drone Technology

By Kelley Sayler

Today, the word “drone” commonly provokes energetic debates – often stemming from the technology’s controversial use in military operations.  Some see drones as precision tools that reduce civilian casualties while eliminating terrorist threats; others see them as extralegal – or even illegal – implements of war.  But while “drone strikes” and the broader military applications of drone technology have long-dominated headlines, drones offer a growing number of promising commercial and humanitarian applications that are frequently overlooked in the public discourse.

Indeed, the technological sophistication of hobbyist and commercial drones has markedly improved in recent years, enabling a range of capabilities and applications that were formerly the monopoly of major military powers.  Commercially available drones can now carry thermal imaging and night-vision surveillance equipment, capture and transmit high-definition images and video, and persist for modest periods of time at growing distances.  These capabilities have steadily increased the use of drones outside of a military context.

Read the full article on the Leading Edge blog.

  • Commentary
    • Defense News
    • September 23, 2021
    Presentation is key: Why the Pentagon’s budget data needs a makeover

    As technology advances, Congress and the DoD need to not only focus investments on capabilities, but also on DoD processes and organizational culture....

    By Jennie Matuschak

  • Podcast
    • September 17, 2021
    How Air Warfare is Changing

    Guests Stacie Pettyjohn and Becca Wasser join Defense One Radio to describe lessons from Iraq, Azerbaijan, Gaza, and more in the future of air warfare. Listen to the full con...

    By Stacie Pettyjohn & Becca Wasser

  • Commentary
    • War on the Rocks
    • September 9, 2021
    Confronting Chaos: a New Concept for Information Advantage

    The side that can deal with chaos and operate more effectively with degraded systems will likely seize the initiative....

    By Chris Dougherty

  • Podcast
    • August 30, 2021
    Military and memories

    Although a military conflict between China and Australia is highly unlikely, if it did happen would we be prepared? Thomas Shugart speaks to the Australian Broadcasting Compan...

    By Tom Shugart

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia