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Risks of Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Security

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Military
Wordcount: 3233 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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Risks of Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Security

AVM 303, Intro. Unmanned Aircraft System


Unmanned aircraft systems, commonly referred to as drones, are rapidly becoming important tools in the modern-day life.  Drones may be employed in a multitude of applications, and quite often, this could be a circumstance where aircrafts are in a danger zone, so drones are deployed for the replacement of aircraft. The technological innovation within the drone industry has provided great utility within a myriad of applications.  Drones have been successfully utilized for military surveillance, wildlife management, cyber-security and crime prevention, mapping, precision agriculture, and general security. This research explored the implementation of drone technology for security.  Military forces around the globe utilize drones for security, drones are used for numerous perspectives, they give 24 hours update of information to the military, for extended periods of time. Drone employment provides wildlife managers the ability to access areas too dangerous for human observation, providing the ability to conduct research in these areas.

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The military use the drones as part of security checkpoints, UAVs, used by the military around the globe, are commonly used for intelligent surveillance and scouting aircrafts. Some drones are light enough to be deployed by hand, drones have different sizes; small, medium and large. Drones are not only limited to security and surveillance, they are also used for other reasons purpose such as risk assessment, inspection, securing remote assets, perimeter control and other security officer situations. Despite the good use of this technology, there are some risks and challenges which UAV controllers are aligned to face is the fact aircraft and people could meet it thereby cause problems.



The use of unmanned aircraft in our society for security and military use is quite amazing. This helps ease up the use of man as a tool for security, drones can view a wide area of land, and give intel on what is going on at the point in time, they provide more information than man eye-sight. This research report and give examples of other works used by drones to achieve greater things. a researcher has given a wide view of the use of Unmanned Aircraft and how it operates.  According to Dinesh Sathyamoorthy “His paper is aimed to review the security threats posed by UAV in areas such as terrorist attacks, illegal surveillance and reconnaissance smuggling electronics snooping and mid-air collisions” (Sathyamoorthy). The most beneficial, set of operations from Unmanned Aerial vehicle is the Military, they use drones for variety of reasons. The likes of Rihamaltawy and Amr M. Yousef, have also written articles on the use of drones, which includes the reliability, isolation and improvement feature of drones. They report on “The market for civilian unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, is expanding rapidly as new applications are emerging to incorporate the use of civilian drones in our daily lives. On one hand, the convenience of offering certain services via drones is attractive. On the other hand, the mere operation of these airborne machines, which rely heavily on their cyber capabilities, poses great threats to people and property” (Yousef, Rihamaltawy). Like I mentioned earlier, there are different types of unmanned aircrafts designed for different purposed. Most of these drones are designed for military use only.


The commercial use of unmanned aircraft commonly known as drone, has widely spread within our countries and environment within the given years, this is assured to be in a better path in the continual growth, development and substantial progress. Like it’s been mentioned earlier, UAVs are simple but strategic devices used for exploration mission and impossible tasks by the military. The use of drones has given so much data to both the US military, civilian using it for scientific or commercial purposes. They provide 24 hours eye sight in the sky, there are different types of drones used in the military, some of which are for weapon used and others for surveillance, these are: AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven, AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma, Airbus Helicopters VSR700, Airbus-Dassault-Leonardo EuroMale, Antonov Horlytsya, CASC CH-4 Rainbow, CASC CH-5 Rainbow, Denel Dynamics Bateleur, this different type of drones served different purpose to the US military.

Drone are also used for border surveillance, the congress of the United States did show an unlimited expression about the use of unmanned aircraft for the surveillance and border patrol of the country, this paper will highlight all the benefits and future use of drone for both the military and civilian use, as many have written about it. For the past few years, attention has been focused on the expanding areas of operation, the FAA did endorse the certificate for the use of UAVs which was requested by the Custom and Border Protection, this certificate is to clear drone flight along the border of Texas and the Gulf region. The certificate was issued on June 23, 2013.

There has been some new development in the military over the use of Helicopter style drone, this new technology will provide better assistance, cameras with high quality, which provide a high volume of capacity to mark and scan activities both on ground and in air. The A160 Hummingbird sensor-equipped drones should be ready to be into action at Afghanistan in few months. It is amazing what drones can do to help with development and security for mankind.


Unmanned aircrafts are used for various purposes, it can be used to map out accident scenes by the FAA and the NTSB, this method reduces time and human effort and its known to give more accurate information, same thing applies for security. There are different types of drones set aside for different uses for example; the CASC CH-4 Rainbow, this is a combat drone mostly used by the military to deploy weapons, it was made 2014, manufactured by China Aerospace Science Technology Corporation. These drones do much work than humans can ever cover within a specific time frame. The drones are deployed in the air to take a surveillance data, these data will cover a variety of information such as enemy troops approaching, animal attacks and many more. The idea is to know what kind of drone is been assigned for a specific job and what information is expected to come out of it. The CASC CH-4 rainbow is a missile career, what kind of missile does it carry, how much does it weigh, what is the normal and max speed, how many hours does it stay on air and far can it go, these are questions are to be answered in the research project.


Unmanned aircraft should be seen a tool to better our security system within the globe, it is easily deployable, has better graphic picture and can be used for multi-purposes. for security wise they are the eyes in the sky, which is very important to us. In some countries, drones have been assigned across borders, this helps gives overview of the surrounding. Before the existence of drones men (military) were used to protect the border watch out for possible treats and immigrants trying to look for better lives, yes it could be a military job but the workload id just too much, now with the existence of this technology, Unmanned Aircraft System could be easily be deployed in the air and it could a whole of vast land, which could help see what’s going on in its surrounding, especially the sea and ocean. There are many immigrants who have struggled to cross the boarders of other countries and some have died while attempting to do so, with this drone system. They could be seen and rescued, and lives can be saved. This is an essential tool we need to work with.

Aero-Vironment RQ-11 Raven:

According to an online research, 13,000 of Raven UAVs have been deployed for all aspects of security which requires drones to all areas of global operations, as a result of the act, this UAV is the most used drone if its kind. The UAV is originated from the United States, it was manufactured in 2003, and its one of the most active drones in service and its been operated in several parts of the world. This is a class of small-unmanned aerial vehicles; it is very manageable and weighs less. The drone technology can provide more information to both the civilian and military in a given period, as its built for a multi-tasked job, within the global market for targets interest and many more. The size of this drone has proven its usefulness; it is used for information, delivering information about enemy troops and what goes on in the surrounding area.

Aero-Vironment RQ-20 Puma:

 Aero-Vironment RQ-20 puma recognized be a small drone surveillance technology, its kind is been produced in much quantity, for the United States military use only. This product was manufacture in 2008, and it’s currently active in duty. There are 1000, products of this Unmanned aircraft active around the world. This aircraft achieved its first flight in 2007; this enables the United States specials Operations to adopt special opps the ranging from the organization called (All-Environment Capable Variant Program) in 2008. This UAV is given a small profile to compact its portability. The primary mission of this aircraft is to gather intelligence and surveillance, which would be reported back to the base if there is any planned attack, or the gathering of enemy troops with a given environment. Its usefulness basically goes to the military, as it is used for mission purpose.

 Border Protection:

Protecting the border in every country is very important to protect the citizen from either terrorist attacks or unwanted visitors. According to Holland Michel “Just as the early days of unmanned aviation, the southern borderlands have not been exactly hospitable to the prospect of unmanned flight” (Michel). Using drones for border security if a more advanced way of getting intel around the country. This operation could have some difficulty when first initiating such act, it must be given the highest standard of care to see it become successful, “a recent department of homeland security report on the CBP’s drone operations concluded that the drone program isn’t worth the time for cost” (Michel).

Using drones as part of border security will give unlimited eyes in the sky, which means there would be ways to prevent illegal border crossing, this brings more risk and loss of lives to people whom are seeking greener pasture. In the recent years, there has been a tremendous amount of increase in people who are trying to gravel to other countries for better living, this results from a poor economy or poverty within the country, they either end up dying in the sea, or in the desert while attempting to pass a countries border. Drones can come into play, as a source of rescue mission, of drone can spot those who are attempting this mission through the sea can be saved and avoid death penalties. This also applies to those who are attempting such mission on land.

Drones can also be used for wildlife experiments, humans are likely to risk their lives when it come wildlife research, thanks to this technology where they cane miles away from their research and still be successful, coming in close contact with wild animals such as Lions, tigers, cheaters etc. can be very dangerous, the best ways to conduct such experiment is to be far away as possible, with that no better data can be taken, but flying a drone around it, can be very helpful. It will not only help with picture taking but also, what goes on around the area and how they react too. This will prevent loose of life and give better camera quality.

Benefit of Drone:

Within the given years, since the manufacture of the drone technology, the device has always been in an advantage to us the humans. Some potential benefits are the quality cameras, which can identify a small size object from the height of 60,000ft high. Drones also give a real time image of an object form miles ahead to a ground control operator; the ground operator could then transform the image for a decision making regarding the deployment border patrol. Additionally, drones used within the border areas can fly a longer period ranging from 30 hours without changing the battery or refueling, this could be compared to helicopters, which averages the flight time 2 hours. Drones have a prolonged important of operational advantage over airplanes and helicopters.

The unmanned aircraft can also be of a real importance when it comes to border patrol. If an illegal person attempts to cross the border without a proper licensing, or trying to go through the mountains, the UAV has the chance to spot the violator with its detector sensor, which would be impossible for the mere eyesight.

Limitations of UAVs:

Despite the good use of the UAVs for homeland security, there are also some limitation problems that have been encountered. There has been some video footage with civilians trying to explore the drones to their full potential, this could involve the drones carrying a concealed weapon or an individual trying to explore with the drone in a populated area, Chad C. Haddal and Jeremiah Gertler stated “there have been concerns regarding the accident rate of UAVs, which can be multiple times higher than that of manned aircraft” (Haddal, Gertler). This is because the technology is still evolving around the globe, the UAV is sometime hard to find or detect a major issue when involved in a crash unlike the manned aircraft, which if the system fails, the FAA or NTSB is responsible or in a sole position of finding the source of the problem because of the proximity.

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UAVs come at a greater cost when it comes to operations, and it has doubled the cost of manned aircrafts, the CBP General made the statement. This problem arises as a result, drones require an extreme support from special trained operators and the cost is high when such skill is needed. Operating a drone along the border requires more support from personnel in general this could take up to 20 people, as it requires more eyesight. This is also a risk in our society when it drones used for surveillance, within the environment, drones are flown by the civilians within a market place or a populated area, this action can cause an accident if not controlled properly. There is also the risk of the battery running out when the drone is in action therefor, forcing the drone to return to its original point, if an obstacle is within way of home-point the drone could be in contact with it, and cause a major damage.

Batter Life:

 The most common used drone can only fly for about 30 to 25 minutes, while surveillance drones can fly for a longer period and its assisted by 24/7 eyesight to avoid collision or aircraft accident. Some drones have the ability to carry more than a camera for better surveillance system. I believe the batter life of a drone should be longer than 25 minutes based on what this technology can offer for the society, it gathers much information per minute and one would not want to be interrupted when gathering finds based on battery issues.

Military Use:

The military has been very effective the unmanned aircraft, the UAV is used for different purposes. this device ranges from small to large, some of the drones are used for just surveillance purpose while others are used to carry weapons from one spot to the other. In some countries like Afghanistan, drones are commonly found, because of the war and what goes on around the country, for the military to be secured, they scout the area with an unmanned aircraft for the safety of their troops. Drones used for weapons are commonly stronger and larger is size. The good use of drone for the military is mostly to stop enemy troops and give a current data of where they are. Large military drones are commonly recognized as combat drone and it is mostly used by the military around the world this can be accessed through satellites link-up. Reapers are commonly armed with missiles with the range of over a thousand miles and has a nonstop speed of 14 hours.

Broader Impact

Unmanned aircrafts have the capability of keeping tabs of videos for one to be aware of its surroundings and properties, with a high-resolution video camera. The video helps expand security perimeter and provide additional visibility to homeowners and farmers, these cameras can also patrol in both interior and exterior part of your home, which is great. According to Rick Simpson, “the Federal Aviation Administration predicts the seven million drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s), will take flight in the U.S by 2020” (Simpson). Homeowners are now emerging drone technology to enhance security. According to sources “Alarm.com has partnered with Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight to develop autonomous applications that enhance smart home security”, this application uses machine learning to perform some of these duties; continual gathering data from connected devices, learn complex homeowner activities pattern and detect hazardous anomalies and release drones to investigate when something goes wrong.


Start Date; October 18, 2018

Overview of the Topic

Introduction to the topic

Approach to the topic

Due Date; December 7, 2018

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