The Development of Drone Technology – From Military to Civilian Use

Unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as UAVs or drones, are some of the most sophisticated technology available on the consumer market today. Drones use the latest in GPS navigation technology to fly without a pilot, either through a remote control or on-board computers. Drones were first developed by the military, but since then they’ve been implemented in police search and rescue missions, land surveillance, firefighting and recreational use. How did this innovative technology develop? Here is a brief overview of the history of drone technology.

Early History

In 1849, Austria used unmanned balloons loaded with explosives in an attack against Venice. The balloons were thrown from a high altitude during a favourable wind and guided down to a target landing spot using magnetic force on the ground. This technology was obviously less sophisticated and precise than today’s drone technology, but it is the earliest known prototype of an unmanned aerial vehicle and laid the groundwork for future developments.

The first pilotless aircrafts were developed shortly after World War I. Many militaries and navies across the world continued to build on this technology throughout the first half of the twentieth century. The term “drone” was first coined in 1936 by the US Navy to describe radio-controlled aerial machines.

During World War II, drones were used during aerial attack missions and also as training tools.  Modern UAVs with real-time surveillance were developed during the Cold War by the United States as well as Israel.

Modern Drone Technology

Drone technology has come a long way since its early beginnings. There have been many important UAV advancements in recent years, such as more miniature drones, long-flight endurance drones, and drones operated by solar power.

These days, UAVs are becoming increasingly popular in a consumer market. During their earlier stages of development, drones were only available to the military and only used for military purposes. Due to the lowered costs of drone development, this innovative technology is now available at an affordable price. This wider availability has allowed people to use UAV technology for a broad range of purposes: they can be used as land surveillance tools for farmers and property owners, as a mail carrying system for delivery services, or as a recreational activity, especially in photography and video production.

For more information about UAV technology and to find the drone that’s right for you, contact us today at OmniView Tech.

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