Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Essay

1469 Words 6 Pages
The field of aeronautics has been subject to a whirlwind of change, starting from the initial days of taking to the sky in clumsy contraptions of wood and canvas to the modern jetliners that ferry millions of people around the globe. Over the past few decades, however, there have been vast efforts to create aeroplanes that remove the humans from the equation called UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). UAVs are powered aerial vehicles that do not carry human operators. They use aerodynamic forces to provide air vehicle lift like traditional aerial vehicles and may operate with various degrees of autonomy: either under remote control by a human operator or autonomously, by onboard computers.

The history of pilotless aircraft, the predecessor to
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Over the past 5 years, civilian UAVs have been put to use in a variety of environments, from inspecting crops to providing valuable data to rescue workers in the event of a natural disaster. Aerial footage in these particular cases is detrimental in order to assess the situation at hand, besides giving the viewer an exhaustive appraisal of any impending risks that might be lurking around the corner. In 2011, the Tōhoku Earthquake and the subsequent tsunami left northeastern Japan in chaos causing significant damage to the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor leading to the release of highly radioactive plutonium, a disaster reminiscent of 1980s Chernobyl. Unmanned aerial vehicles manufactured by Northrup Grumman and Honeywell were used to gather vital information about the damaged nuclear plant and disaster-stricken areas of the Tōhoku region as humans couldn 't get close enough to install new sensors or poke around the reactor sites due to the threat of radiation …show more content…
Almost all commercial aircraft that are currently in service are capable of piloting themselves via their onboard computers while the pilots are reduced to being overseers and only assume control typically in the case of an onboard emergency. Civilian, personal use UAVs, manufactured by companies in the US, China, France, and Britain are readily available in the market for a few hundred dollars. These are mostly used for hobby flying and aerial photography, however, the sheer availability and affordability of these platforms have caused concerns among the public. Weighing anywhere from 5-25 lbs, these UAVs, if improperly handled, can cause serious damage to property as well as pose as a serious collision threat to commercial aircraft. These "ready to fly" UAVs could also be used to transport illicit substances such as drugs, explosives, chemically, radiologically, and biologically hazardous materials with relative ease. Fortunately, as of today, no such cases have been reported, however, the Federal Aviation Administration requires each UAV to be licensed before flight besides requiring the operator to adhere to all airspace restrictions. Failure to register a UAV can result in civil penalties of up to $27,500 and criminal penalties of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years. With regard to the failure of a

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