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Library Drones and Property Rights

Drones and Property Rights

Drones and Property Rights

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Date of publication
December 2018
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An Introduction to Drones

Land surveying and mapping are evolving rapidly due to advances in unmanned aerial system, or drone, technology. A drone is a flying machine—either fixed-wing or rotary—that is remotely controlled or flies autonomously through software-controlled flight plans. Because they are unmanned, drones are cheaper and smaller than manned aircraft, and can perform tasks too expensive or dangerous with a pilot on board. A single drone system is comprised of an aircraft and a ground control station, which operators use to control the drone. The key innovation of drones is the suite of sensors, software, and communications equipment that allows these comparably small and light-weight vehicles to be operated remotely.

Drones are often associated with military surveillance and missile strikes, but there are myriad non-military use cases. For example, drones facilitate the delivery of blood and vaccines to patients across Rwanda,6 help fight dengue on Fiji,7 and crop dust fields in El Salvador.8 Civilian drones also provide sophisticated yet relatively inexpensive platforms for aerial photography and map making.

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