13 Vehicle Type

In this section different types of vehicles and their functionalities are discussed.

Drone activities, which were once primarily utilized for military purposes, are now widely used in the corporate world. Professional drones can be used for surveillance, aerial photography, agricultural duties, and inspections; micro-drones the size of a ping pong ball are even utilized for biological warfare. Package delivery is the most recent profession for drones, and it is also the most popular purpose for drone development.

Professional Drones are classified as:

  1. Multi-rotor

  2. Fixed-wing

  3. Single-rotor helicopter drones

  4. Fixed-wing hybrid VTOL

13.1 Multi-Rotor

For vertical takeoff and landing, drones with multiple rotors and propellers were developed. Small wings or blades on a drone are used to fly the drone. Rotors are just the part that spins the propellers. A helicopter has a single rotor whereas a multi-rotor drone has many rotors.

The purpose of having many rotors is to gain better control of the drone's position in the sky. The more rotors it has, the more maneuvering options it has, but the controls on an 8-rotor drone are far more difficult to understand than on a 4-rotor drone. The number of rotors limits the speed and duration of flight time. Some multi-rotor drones can only fly for 20 minutes before needing to recharge the battery.

13.2 Fixed-wing

Fixed-wing drones have a single long wing on either side of their body and need either a catapult or a runway to lift off the ground. They face difficulty in landing due to the inability to hover. These are sometimes used for surveillance, like in the military. They are not generally used for other types of aerial photography and drone flying. These are useful for the purpose of long-distance tasks or just as a hobby. They may stay in the air for up to 16 hours and do not require recharging unless they are connected to other electronic equipment. Flying experience and training, especially for safe take-off and landing, is required for these types of drones.

13.3 Single-Rotor Helicopter drones

These are available in a wide variety of sizes. More efficient than multi-rotor but less than fixed-wing types of drones. These are hard to fly sometimes. They can carry a heavier payload.

13.4 Fixed-wing hybrid VTOL

A newly designed type of professional drone which combines a fixed-wing drone's extended flight duration time with a single-rotor or multi-rotor drone's vertical takeoff and landing.

VTOL stands for Vertical Take-Off and Landing. The only drawback with fixed-wing drones is that they can't land as readily as other drones. This hybrid brings the finest of both worlds together. Although it isn't a new concept, it is swiftly gaining popularity and a reputation. It is a versatile choice for a wide range of commercial and military aerial applications. These drones can take off and land vertically without the use of a launcher or runway, allowing them to operate in practically any area. When compared to a multi-rotor UAV, the fixed-wing design provides higher endurance, the capacity to cover longer distances, and the choice to fly faster, allowing operators to fly for longer and cover more ground. VTOLs are used in many applications such as:

  • Agriculture & Farming: Large farms can benefit from VTOL fixed-wing drones because they can provide very efficient coverage and data collecting, allowing farmers to swiftly get insights into crop health and other indicators, saving pesticide and fertilizer expenditures. A thermal camera payload will aid in the detection of both wet and dry patches in the field.

  • Infrastructure: VTOL fixed-wing drones can give real-time, accurate 3D comparative data, which is critical for effective infrastructure design and can assist detect deteriorating conditions and underdeveloped areas.

  • Mapping and Land Survey: Land surveyors can quickly deploy VTOL fixed-wing drones in even the most distant and inaccessible locations, giving them real-time geospatial data collected remotely.

  • Mining: VTOL fixed-wing drones can be used to survey mining sites safely and efficiently, allowing for higher productivity and growth.

  • Surveillance & Security: VTOL fixed-wing drones can give decision-makers with real-time intelligence, allowing for better pre-planning, more control, and faster resolution of emergency situations without placing human operators in danger.

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