Photo: Ki-keh. Source: Pixabay
It may seem like it. Drones are everywhere. Some stories about the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral featured accounts of drones showing firefighters where to point their water hoses to maximum effect and giving other critical information. They’ve also been essential in assessing the damage after the blaze was put out. In fact, drones equipped with thermal imaging systems can provide real-time evaluations in all kinds of emergencies, from forest fires to search-and-rescue to wildlife monitoring.
Scientists are using sail-drones to study the oceans, monitor fisheries, and forecast the weather. Surveillance companies use drones to keep tabs on homes and key security areas at industrial and military sites. Real estate brokers use drones both inside and outside premium properties to capture stunning, 360-degree views. And viewing sports events is a totally new experience. At many competitions, organizers can provide live-stream viewing from drone-borne cameras.
Drones are the new barnstormers, cruising through uncontrolled or lightly regulated airspace once reserved for model rockets and fireworks. In fact, Disney has taken out a number of patents on drone-display technology, aiming to create stationary fireworks and flying projection screens. NASA is even preparing to launch drones on Mars to assist in data collection.
Photo: Lee Osberry. Source: USAF
Software manages their movements, and solar cells often power their components. Drones have actually been around for over a century, since Charles Kettering developed an aerial torpedo during World War I. But autonomous drones do a lot more now than blow things up and take pretty pictures. Whatever our future holds, there will likely be drones in it.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Charter Trust Company
“The Best Trust Company in New England”