Drones in the security world

Although the Army has been carrying out intelligence and intervention missions for several years now, thanks to the drones, civil security has only just begun to use drones.

With the simple aerial photography, which still accounts for 80% of the offer, more and more UAV manufacturers are turning to the security market for increasingly sophisticated applications such as:

  • Inspection of structures and infrastructures for accident prevention and maintenance: aerial thermography, for example, is used to detect water infiltration points, pipe breaks or construction errors from outside a building.
  • A drone can also closely examine hard-to-reach facilities (dams, pylons, pipelines). For example, Electricity companies check the state of their power lines. Gas companies monitor its natural gas transmission network.
  • Radio-nuclear detection.
  • Conducting compliance audits.
  • Crisis management: drones provide a global view of the situation to coordinate the various stakeholders.
  • Assistance in case of emergencies, severe weather, natural disasters or Orsec plans to draw up a photographic record of material damage or even a precise human balance sheet.
  • Post-disaster expertise.
  • Transport of emergency medicine (a simple drone of 2000 dollars can transport one kilogram of drugs).
  • In Urban Safety, the drone can be used to monitor a demonstration, both in the open air and in an urban environment.
  • Monitoring forest fires as closely as possible in addition to existing aerial means.
  • During the interventions, one or more micro UAVs can provide information on the fire contour, the position of hot spots, the position of areas to be protected by emergency protection, and in particular the presence of persons trapped by fire.
  • Video surveillance: local elected officials in many cities have proposed to use video surveillance UAVs to secure the city.

Drone assets:

A drone is more maneuverable than a helicopter… A drone intervention would cost four times less than a helicopter.

The use of the drone is very flexible and varies with the equipment it is equipped with: a thermal camera to detect a heating, microphones to measure noise pollution, Geiger meter to analyze the level of radioactivity in the air.

At the same time, the European Commission is working on harmonizing the regulation of UAVs.

A few challenges ahead

On the other hand, referring to the “slowness of societal acceptance”, the consultants do not see drones thriving in the service of law enforcement or civil security forces. Those who should not account for more than 5% of the market in 10 years (which, despite everything, is not nothing).

As for the applications related to the advent of precision farming, they will gain a lot of ground, but they should probably not be overestimated. The study considers that their share in the overall market for UAV operations will not exceed 10% in the next ten years. Finally, the share of distribution activities is expected to remain symbolic, despite the UAV delivery projects mentioned by Amazon, Google or DHL.