Real World Drone Use-Cases

Steven Hogan, a drone lawyer at Ausely & McMullen, wrote an article about drone law titled, “Confused about “Drone Law?” You’re not alone.” In his article, in addition to covering a variety of interesting drone law topics, his article also included an interesting list of drone use-cases:

  • Precision Agriculture: showing farmers what plants are stressed, are in need of water, where pests are, etc. so that they can act accordingly in real-time to increase yields.
  • Wildlife surveys.
  • As-built inspections (in 3-D!) for buildings.
  • Public Safety: finding lost children and adults.
  • Emergency Management: quick, safe reconnaissance of a disaster area to identify survivors and allocate live-saving resources accordingly.
  • Bridge inspections – up-close images of bridge components conducted quickly, cheaply, and reliably to check the maintenance needs of each span.
  • Power line surveys: use of specialized cameras to identify “flares” where electricity is leaking out of components that need to be replaced or repaired.
    Surveys of mining operations to generate immediate topographical maps of what the terrain looks like after an excavation or blast.
  • Shoreline surveys of sea turtle nesting sites to provide an accurate count of where they are without disturbing the wildlife.
  • Fire department use of sUAS with thermal imaging cameras that will show where the “hot spots” are within a building before firefighters enter the structure. Identification of survivors in need of rescue can be accomplished in this manner as well.
  • Awesome video of any event you can think of (weddings, surfing competitions, 5K and 10K races, marathons, etc.).
  • Promotional video and still imagery for real estate sales.
  • Monitoring of large tracts of land for environmental studies and research purposes.
  • Identification of vulnerable populations of endangered wildlife without the use of human monitors in manned aircraft.
  • Let your imagination run wild.

Confused about “Drone Law?” You’re not alone

Can you think of any drone use-cases that Steven missed?

By |2017-08-31T15:23:56-08:00March 2nd, 2016|Aerial Photography/Videography, Conservation, Drone Agriculture/Farming, Drone Aided Research, Drone Applications, Drone Services, Drones|Comments Off on Real World Drone Use-Cases

About the Author:

Sam Estrin
I'm an avid drone enthusiast and part-time drone blogger living outside of the DC area. I track drone news and write editorials and timely drone news stories that I find interesting. If you like my stories, you can follow me on Twitter or visit me at LinkedIn. If you'd like me to write for your drone oriented publication or blog, you can contact me at