In 2015, according to The New York Times, an American news Company, the Secret Service, [the agency responsible for the security of the American President and White House] had been conducting late-night exercises in no-fly zones to develop more effective countermeasures against autonomous and remote-controlled drones.
This followed the infamous incident in January that caused a vastness of panic in the White House Security Personnel after a dramatic crash of a private drone in the compound of the White House.
The agency, which had been contemplating the security implications of small, hard-to-detect airborne devices before the accidental landing of a remote-controlled quadcopter in the White House lawn, had reportedly accelerated research into anti-drone measures. Apparently, it tried a lot of different drone-blocking methods.
Drones; just how are these [drones] changing the meaning of lifestyle as we know it, many people wonder.
Well; today I will be discussing drones and I am by no chance about to write an essay on male bees, as on that, you could indeed have to revisit your Primary Five Science notebook.
What are drones?
- They are formally known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAVs and that is used to refer to pilotless and non-crewed aircrafts that are capable of flight either by remote control or use of on-board computers.
A drone does not actually carry a human operator. Rather people control the aircraft from the ground or simply it flies without any human intervention.
What’s more, drones actually take all shapes and sizes in order to address different airborne purposes.
The beginning of the drone can actually be traced to the military. The earliest recorded use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for war fighting happened on August 22, 1849 when the Austrians attacked the Italian city of Venice with unmanned balloons loaded with explosives.
However, the first modern pilotless aircraft was built during and shortly after World War 1.
In November1917, the automatic airplane was demonstrated for the US Army whereupon success of the exhibition, the army commissioned a project to build an aerial torpedo which flew in 1918.
It is because of the success of these earlier UAVs that the atmospheres of war-zones today are saturated with drones – especially where Americans were directly involved in combat.
In the 1990s, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) like the Predator were used in Bosnia and Kosovo as a quiet, discreet way to monitor a battlefield without putting soldiers at risk.
Then, later in the years, weapons were added to the drones and that marked a new era of warfare, one that President Obama adopted much more readily than his predecessors. Such as in Afghanistan and Iraq, drones have played a significant role.
- However, since in 2015, drones are no longer only operated by the military.
Smaller versions have been developed and used for all sorts of purposes by companies and individuals. For example, Amazon and Google say they are developing drones that deliver parcels. Facebook wants to fly giant drones that can carry internet signal to remote areas. Drones are also being used to film documentaries and news reports in dangerous or inaccessible areas.
Other importances of drones
For Photography and Videography
Lately a trend of making attractive music videos like everybody else abroad has gripped homeboys and girls quite tightly. However, previously, it was downright impossible even to take some nice shots as the ones in Bebe Cool’s Nkola byafaayo video.
Therefore both amateur and professional photographers and filmmakers are the biggest supporters of drones today. They buy more affordable drone models and fine-tune them for all sorts of still image and video projects.
Many current drones come with mounting kits that let you attach a camera to the underside of the machine. With the camera in place, any photographer or videographer has a new world of creative potential at his or her fingertips.
Before affordable drones came along, these kinds of views were simply impossible to get if not with a helicopter or giant lift. Now with drones, the skies are open to anyone and wedding photographers can now hover over the bride and groom to capture unique views of the reception and entire ceremony.
Keeping Law & Order – Policing
Now digital cameras can be mounted to drones that tirelessly hunt from the skies around the city, towns and communities – all in the effort of keeping law and order.
Using drones, police officers could then watch the citizens and even monitor areas for illegal drug transactions, conduct chases or even help in reconstructing the crime scenes.
Drones also become very relevant in police search and rescue missions or to perform routine security sweeps at large or crowded events. Some drone makers are considering one higher step of arming drones with tear gas and other crowd control measures.
All these would greatly cut costs in the Police force and that is just why Gen. Kale Kayihura would order a few of these drone cops.
The governments should find the use of drones really crucial especially for the cause of our wildlife. Drones outfitted with cameras and GPS capabilities are a blessing to people who need to track wildlife.
It has not been easy before now. Scientific researchers, natural resource departments and zoologists often need to track individual animals as well as larger groups of creatures in order to better understand their behaviors.
Drones however let them skim along effortlessly, observing habitats and animals from afar, with less disturbances unlike getting stuck in the jungle or mountains being uncomfortable even with all the expensive gear.
Additionally, drones are being used to combat poachers. Endangered species of animals are in trouble if better methods are not used to keep them from reckless hunters. This is where law enforcement should come in to employ drones to monitor animals and anticipate potential ambush areas.
Small, and nearly silent, drones are very perfect for spying on the criminals looking to deprive the dear country of its God given resources. Ministry of tourism may want to try out drones.
This can be especially beneficial to large scale farmers who are faced with the burden to regularly inspect the plantations or livestock on many acres of land or even miles. Sometimes this becomes too hard to do efficiently moreover losses are inevitable if not done well. This is where the drone just might be the answer.
Drones skip the muddy roads altogether and take the skies to look for signs of disease, examine crops or even apply chemicals such as fertilizers or herbicides.
Drones also help farmers to monitor all of their property and equipment. Moreover, it results into better land management and consequently much better yields.
In Disaster management
Drones can also help in the aftermath of natural disasters – think of the landslides in Bududa, for example.
These machines being cheap and efficient, can be very good to be in the sky, assessing with their digital “eyes” and reporting the damage, as it is – like how many people are affected and how widespread the chaos might be.
These drones being outfitted with still, video and infrared cameras, they can be very effective in search and rescue missions. They can search far and wide through an area, following a precise search pattern in order to locate missing people.
They can help first responders like the police or fire brigade to figure out where to set up staging areas. They also are able to spot survivors or even listen in case if any sounds are made. Can even pinpoint the locations of bodies.
Even if streets are cluttered with impassable debris, drones can immediately take to the air and begin providing the critical data. This kind of instant-on information can make a difference between life and death of untold numbers of people.
Drones can also be used at weather stations to study atmospheric conditions, detect storms or any impending bad weather occurrence. Moreover we tend to assume drones only airborne; however, as technology of drones soars, these devices can now swim – in water bodies.
This way they can be used to perform underwater inspections. Companies use them to check oil rigs, fish farms, assess storm damage etc. Just as there are limitless uses of airborne drones, there are similarly limitless uses to the waterborne drones.
Who gets to fly a drone?
In Uganda, no much legislation is known on drones. However, as Ugandans pick more than negligible interest in them, government just might limit the importation and use of them until some kind of rules and regulations are put in place to guide their use.
It’ll be for a just cause because life is what it is – a good guy with a drone cannot be the same as a bad guy with a drone. Matter of fact, drones can be quite an asset in orchestrating organized crime – after all drones help to beat security. However, until then, just place an order online and it’ll be shipped right to your doorstep.
How much do drones cost?
Drones that fly around your bedroom can be bought for less than Sh350, 000 [$100]. Prices then range up to Sh350, 000, 000 [$100, 000] if you want TV quality pictures.
What are the risks?
A more imminent danger is the risk of collision. As drones increase in the atmosphere, it’ll be much likely that they’ll run into each other a few times every unit time.
Drones could be dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands, according to the head of Google, Eric Schmidt, who has called for tighter regulation. For example, terrorists could use the new technology to mount remote attacks. “I would prefer to not spread the ability to fight war to every single human being,” Mr. Schmidt said. And he was spot on.
First, there was that incident at the White House, in the US before the one in Paris, France where a journalist faces prosecution for illegally flying a drone in Paris, amid a frenzy of drone flyovers. The point is; you can never spend a day without hearing about the same and trust me it’s not far-fetched – the days of the drones are here and we cannot escape them.