Drones are designed to be used in a wide field of disciplines;
- photography and cinemetography (films, photos for brochures, websites, eco-tourism,etc.)
- conservation (identify decay or infestations on totems. identifying archeological sites,etc)
- environmental (counting eggs from cliff side nests, water sampling, monitoring invasives, contamination cleanups, documenting status of natural and human caused disasters or contaminated areas, etc.) . Document Superfund/brownfield sites.
- emergency (high resolution overview or closeup of accidents, spillages, locating lost humans,etc)
- business (marketing, etc.)
- construction (quantitative analysis, pre and post construction photos, etc.)
- agriculture and ranching (herding, counting, identifying crop or fruitdiseases, soil state)
- real estate
- insurance (roof damage, disaster damage, fire damage, etc.)
Drones are quickly supplanting, or are being used in conjunction with, more traditional means of accomplishing tasks.
The following reasons are contributing factors according to the drone website www.sensefly.com.
A drone can be launched on demand—weather and regulation permitting—without needing to source and book manned aircraft services (if these exist in the region) or commission and wait for satellite imagery.
A UAV produces completely up-to-date imagery. This makes drones suited to time-sensitive projects and for monitoring locations at regular intervals (i.e. using the same flight plan each time).
Unlike traditional surveying techniques, using a drone is fast and requires minimal staff, plus using an aerial approach overcomes common site access issues such as impenetrable vegetation, boulders, crevasses etc.
Used regularly, the per-project cost of a professional drone system is typically lower than third-party alternatives such as manned imaging aircraft, with a drone system often providing a complete ROI in as little as a few months or a few large projects
Small and light electric-powered drones, especially fixed-wing aircraft, make little noise and are often bird-shaped, meaning animals on the ground are rarely disturbed by these tools, if they notice them at all.
Rotary (helicopter) drone systems are best suited to monitoring and charting smaller areas, enabling operators to capture video imagery and respond to this feedback live, while fixed-wing UAVs—such as senseFly’s eBee—allow users to map larger areas in a single autonomous flight.