Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), are aircrafts without human pilots on board. They can be preprogrammed or piloted remotely. Their use spans from surveillance to search and rescue to firefighting to recreation. Before you purchase a drone, there are a few things you need to know.
Drones are made in three grades: Consumer Grade, Prosumer Grade, and Commercial Grade.
Consumer Grade Drones
These are best for beginners, as you can get a quad copter, possibly with a camera and micro SD card, for under $300. These are smaller than average, with a range of about 100 ft plus 10 minute flying time. These are great for practice and, until you have really mastered flying it, you can expect to crash more than once. You will find that you must do extra work for tasks that could be automated.
These drones are in the $300-$1,500 price range, and you can tell the difference. With these, you will find longer lasting batteries, farther range, computer automation to stabilize them in the air, built-in HD cameras with increased storage space, plus improved controllers. The controllers may have built-in video or have the ability to sync with your devices.
Drones with GPS fall within this grade and can offer excellent and practical benefits. If you adventurous or active, you may want to record your excursions. These drones can follow you when you partake in things like water skiing or snowboarding. They can even sense a low battery and will automatically bring the drone back down for a safe landing. Another added bonus: these drones will prevent you from flying within 5 miles of an airport, thus keeping you out of trouble for the most part.
These are the truly specialized kind of drones. For example, these are the ones that will herd sheep, deliver your pizza, or even guide a lost student around campus. You may have seen them, or viewed an exceptional aerial view when watching your favorite football team. Commercial drones are gaining popularity in Hollywood as well. While they are used for filming, the paparazzi have also used them in an attempt to get exclusive shots of the stars.
You will want to invest in accessories to keep your drone safe. If your drone doesn’t come with a case, you can find cases on the market that are great for travelling (think backpack or suitcase types) and even cases with molded foam for increased protection. Extra batteries and extra blades are good to have on hand just in case.
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is now requiring drones to be registered (thanks to some people who flew them where they shouldn’t have). Luckily, a $5 fee is good for 3 years, and covers all your drones, if you have more than one.
Do you own a drone or have you toyed with one before? Would you invest in your own? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can also find us on Vine.
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Drones can be very beneficial when it comes to surveillance. Also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, drones provide benefits such as decreased risks, relatively lower costs, the ability to house advanced technologies, and more.
Because of this, Transport Canada is looking to employ a drone to patrol the Canadian Arctic. They are looking to enhance their efforts in monitoring things such as ice and oil spills. Currently, three manned airplanes are handling the job – one over each the Atlantic and the Pacific, and the third based in Ottawa for the Arctic.
With manned aircraft, the need for a qualified pilot on board can limit flight times, and some areas are simply too difficult and dangerous for the pilot to access.
Drones, however, are compact, can last longer, and can also reach more difficult areas. Without having to wait for skilled personnel, drones are flexible when it comes to flight and coverage times. They can also be modified with the appropriate technologies and devices for more comprehensive and effective surveillance.
The ideal drone would possess sensors, ground control equipment, and satellite communications, along with maintenance support including spare parts. The drone would need the capabilities to identify and track oil slicks, icebergs, whales, and foreign fishing vessels, to name a few. The necessary range would be at least 6,500km, and it would need to be able to track its target for at least six hours.
A likely candidate would be the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk, valued at about $300 million per new aircraft. The U.S. military already actively uses these Global Hawks.
We have yet to see if Transport Canada’s wishes come to fruition. Do you think drones would be a more efficient way to patrol the seas? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Pinterest. You can also find us on Vine.
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Safety, on all levels, is a major concern. With recent events across the world, now more than ever do we need increased security measures. We should become more vigilant to protect ourselves from possible threats or danger. As our technology continues to improve, law enforcement agencies are taking advantage and utilizing these security devices to keep the people safe.
With advanced license plate readers, high definition security cameras, drones and wide area surveillance, officers are able to do their jobs more efficiently. These devices allow them to better identify and apprehend criminals, resulting in safer communities.
License plate readers are often mounted on police cars, allowing officers to monitor drivers for safety. Because these license plate readers are more advanced than before, they can parse through the many plates that zoom by and cross reference them to a criminal database. It makes it easier to find wanted suspects, stolen vehicles, aids in amber alerts, and more. By enabling our officers to capture these criminals, we work toward building safe streets and communities.
High Definition (Facial Recognition)
Security cameras with high definition are becoming more common, and some are even equipped with facial recognition technology. This is obviously helpful in the sense that suspects can be more easily identified when attempting to elude law enforcement. These cameras can also pick up on suspicious activities and alert law enforcement accordingly. For our safety, it is better to be proactive than reactive.
Drones & Wide Area Surveillance
Drones have gained popularity in the commercial arena, however, they can serve an extremely beneficial purpose for security and law enforcement. Much like helicopters can offer an aerial view, drones work the same way, but because of their small size and advanced features, they can better track a suspect, making it harder for him or her to evade police. Wide-area surveillance offers a bigger picture, recording all movement within a given area for hours. When crimes are reported, footage can be reviewed to verify details and stories.
As these devices start to become more widely used in law enforcement, do you think crimes rates will begin to noticeably decline? We would love to hear from you. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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Utilizing a surveillance system demonstrates the ability to aid in suspect identification to help solve crimes. Technological advances have expanded these systems to overhead monitoring via aircrafts, similar to drones. Persistent Surveillance Systems (PSS) has created a manned aircraft equipped with several cameras to record ground activity over a 25 sq mile (64.7 sq km) area.
The PSS aircraft is houses 12 high-resolution cameras which work together to create one wide range view to be transmitted to analysts below. Persons in question are able to be tracked, but cannot be clearly identified from these cameras.
Instead, tracking a person’s movement is the goal. These aircrafts were tested in different areas. For nine days in early 2012, the PSS aircraft was used in Compton, CA. During this time, the PSS surveillance footage captured various crimes. The suspect’s movement before and after the occurrence were recorded. Access to this information, in conjunction with firsthand testimony, helps to create accurate timelines.
This information can offer some insight on details of the crime, possible accomplices, whether it was premeditated or not, and more. By having an aerial view and being able to accurately track persons, we can more quickly and effectively locate those evading police. We can save time, money, and manpower as the PSS aircraft can do the work in the sky. These surveillance aircrafts could be vital in capturing and punishing suspects, thus restoring the safety and security of our neighborhoods.
Do you think your local police department should adopt this type of technology to help prevent crimes? Please share your thoughts with us on our social media sites. You can find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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Unmanned aerial systems, more commonly referred to as drones, have been a buzz lately. Drones act as aerial surveillance cameras and are typically associated with military use. Lately, the use of drones for other endeavors is on the rise. At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, drones were used as a security measure, but were also employed to capture a different view of events. The use of drones in sports is of interest and can be beneficial during practices and games. For example, UCLA is currently implementing the use of drones during football practice.
In sports like football, being able to see your players from overhead allows coaches a new view on their game plan. An aerial view allows coaches to correct spacing and placement, providing improved player and team performance. During actual sports games, having video footage from drones versus cable cameras can heighten the experience for fans and spectators. Since drones provide better maneuverability, their video footage can supply new viewing angles and may help determine whether or not a referee’s call was bad or justified.
While teams and coaches see the benefits of using drones, there are concerns about safety, privacy and ethical use. Safety issues include how high, low or far the drones can travel, as well as possible malfunctions that may occur. There is also a level of vulnerability to those in surrounding areas where the drone is being used. Also, sports teams may worry about other teams spying on practices. Recently, a drone was spotted flying above France’s training camp in Brazil for the World Cup 2014, raising concerns about spying. The issue is under investigation. In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration oversees the use of unmanned aircraft systems, however, specific rules and regulations are still in the works.
Cable camera systems are currently in use for football games, but are obviously limited in comparison to the drone’s versatility. These cable camera systems are also not ideal for all sports. For instance, using these cameras for golf tournaments is simply not practical. In regards to costs, drones can be much more affordable than cable camera systems. Once regulations and safety issues for drones are resolved, future use of drones in sports seems promising.
To our sports fanatics or security camera enthusiasts, what are your thoughts? Are you for or against their use in sports? Let us know what you think – tweet us @SecurityCamXprt, post on our Facebook wall, or share with us on Google+. You can even connect with us on Pinterest.
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