Unmanned aircraft (UAV), abbreviated as "UAV", is an unmanned aircraft operated by radio-controlled equipment and its own programmed control device, or operated autonomously by on-board computers either completely or intermittently.

Drones are often better suited for tasks that are too "dumb, dirty or dangerous" than manned aircraft. According to the application field, UAV can be divided into military and civil. For military purposes, UAVs are divided into reconnaissance and target aircraft. For civil use, UAV + industrial application is the real rigid demand of UAV. In aerial, agriculture, plant protection, miniature self-time, express transportation, disaster relief, observe wildlife, surveying and mapping, news reports, power monitoring infectious diseases, inspection, disaster relief, film and television filming, romantic, and so on in the field of application, greatly expand the uav itself USES, developed countries are actively expanding industry application and development of unmanned aerial vehicle (uav) technology.

In September 2018, the 62nd meeting of the Coordinating System Committee (HSC) of the World Customs Organization decided to classify drones as "flying cameras".

Introduction to the

Unmanned aircraft referred to as "unmanned aerial vehicle" (" UAV "), is the use of radio remote control equipment and its own program control device to operate the unmanned aircraft. In fact, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is a general term for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs). From a technical point of view, it can be divided into: unmanned fixed wing aircraft, unmanned vertical take-off and landing aircraft, unmanned airship, unmanned helicopter, unmanned multi-rotor aircraft, unmanned umbrella aircraft and so on. Compared with manned aircraft, it has the advantages of small size, low cost, easy to use, low requirements on the operational environment, and strong survivability on the battlefield. Due to the importance of unmanned aircraft in the future air combat, the major military countries in the world are stepping up the development of unmanned aircraft. In November 2013, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CA) issued the Interim Regulations on the Pilot Management of Civil Unmanned Aircraft System, and the AOPA Association of China is responsible for the relevant management of civil UAVs. According to the regulations, unmanned aerial vehicle (uav) operating in mainland China according to the model size, the airspace can be divided into 11 kinds of situation, only 116 kg of unmanned aerial vehicles and more than 4600 cubic meters of the airship in fusion airspace by the civil aviation administration management, the rest of the case, including the growing popularity of micro aerial vehicle other flight, are managed by industry associations, or by the operator is responsible for.

The development history of

Research background

Unmanned aerial vehicle (uav) originally appeared in the 1920 s, 1914 the first world war was in full swing, the card del and two generals, to the British military aviation society put forward a suggestion: develop a do not drive of choose and employ persons, and radio control for small aircraft, enable it to fly to the enemy over a target zone, will advance bombs dropped down in a small plane. This bold idea was immediately appreciated by Sir Day Henderson, then President of the British Military Aeronautical Society. He appointed a team led by Professor A.M. Low to make the research. The drone was used as a training target drone. "Is a term used in many countries to describe the latest generation of unmanned aircraft. Literally, the term can describe cruise missiles developed from kites, radio-controlled aircraft, and V-1 missiles, but in military terminology is limited to reusable heavier-than-air aircraft.

Research and development process

Drones were used to train anti-aircraft gunners in World War II in the 1940s.

In 1945, the conversion of redundant or retired aircraft after World War II into special research or target aircraft pioneered the recent trend in the use of UAS. As electronic technology advances, drones are proving resilient and important in the role of reconnaissance.

Drones were frequently used for military missions in the Vietnam War from 55 to 74, the Gulf War and even during NATO's air strikes against Yugoslavia.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) pioneered the use of UAVs for other military missions in 1982. During the Peace Operation Galilee (Lebanon War), the Scout UAV UAV system played a major combat role in the service of the Israeli Army and the Israeli Air Force. The IDF mainly uses drones for reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, tracking and communications.

During Desert Storm in 1991, the U.S. military used small drones designed to fool radar systems as bait, and other countries used them as bait.

In March 1996, NASA developed two testing machines: the X-36 experimental tailless unmanned aircraft. It is 5.7 meters long and weighs 88 kilograms, making it 28 percent the size of an ordinary fighter jet. The variant uses separate ailerons and a steering thrust system for greater flexibility than conventional fighters. The horizontal and vertical tail reduces weight and pull, as well as reducing the radar cross section. UAVs will ideally perform tasks such as neutralizing enemy air defense, interception, combat damage assessment, theater missile defense, and ultra-high altitude attacks, especially in politically sensitive areas.

Until the late 20th century, they were little more than full-size remote-controlled airplanes. The U.S. military has shown growing interest in such aircraft because they offer low-cost, mission-flexible fighting machines that can be used without the risk of pilot death.

In the 1990s, after the Gulf War, drones began to develop rapidly and become widely used. The U.S. military has purchased and manufactured Vanguard UAVs as a reliable system during the second and third Gulf Wars against Iraq.

After 1990s, Western countries fully realized the role of UAV in the war, and competed to apply high and new technology to the research and development of UAV: new airfoil and light material greatly increased the endurance time of UAV; Advanced signal processing and communication technology is adopted to improve the image transmission speed and digital transmission speed of UAV. The advanced autopilot allows the drone to be programmed to hover, change altitude and fly to the next target instead of being piloted by ground-based television screens.

Type classification

With the rapid development of UAV related technologies at home and abroad, UAV systems are of various types and distinctive features with wide applications, resulting in great differences in dimensions, quality, range, airtime, flight altitude, flight speed and mission, etc. Due to the diversity of UAVs, there will be different classification methods for different considerations:

According to the flight platform configuration, UAV can be divided into fixed-wing UAV, rotary-wing UAV, unmanned airship, parachute-wing UAV, flapping wing UAV and so on.

UAVs can be classified into military and civilian UAVs. Military UAV can be divided into reconnaissance UAV, decoy UAV, electronic countermeasures UAV, communication relay UAV, unmanned fighter and target drone. Civil UAV can be divided into inspection/surveillance UAV, agricultural UAV, meteorological UAV, exploration UAV and mapping UAV, etc..

According to the scale classification (civil aviation regulations), UAVs can be divided into micro UAVs, light UAVs, small UAVs and large UAVs. Mini-UAVs refer to unmanned aerial vehicles with an air weight of less than or equal to 7kg and light unmanned aerial vehicles with a weight of more than 7kg but less than or equal to 116kg. In full Mali flight, the corrected airspeed is less than 100km/h(55nmile/h) and the limit of lift is less than 3000m. Small unmanned aerial vehicles refer to unmanned aerial vehicles with an empty weight of less than or equal to 5700kg, except miniature and light unmanned aerial vehicles. Large UAVs refer to those with an empty weight greater than 5700kg.

According to the radius of activity, UAV can be divided into ultra-short range UAV, short-range UAV, short-range UAV,

Medium range drones and long range drones. The radius of activity of ultra-short-range UAV is within 15km, that of short-range UAV is between 15 ~ 50km, that of short-range UAV is between 50 ~ 200km, that of medium-range UAV is between 200 ~ 800km, and that of long-range UAV is greater than 800km.

According to the task height classification, UAV can be divided into ultra-low altitude UAV, low altitude UAV, hollow UAV,

High altitude drones and ultra high altitude drones. The task height of ultra-low altitude UAV is generally between 0 ~ LOOM, the task height of low-altitude UAV is generally between 100 ~ 1000m, the task height of hollow UAV is generally between 1000 ~ 7000m, the task height of high-altitude UAV is generally between 7000 ~ 18000m, and the task height of ultra-high altitude UAV is generally greater than 18000m.

In September 2018, the 62nd meeting of the Coordinating System Committee (HSC) of the World Customs Organization decided to classify drones as "flying cameras". UAVs are classified as "flying cameras", so they can be regulated as "cameras". Generally, there are no special trade control requirements for cameras in various countries, which is very helpful for China's high-tech products to enter the foreign civil market.

Prospects for development

High altitude long endurance chronization

The early UAV had short time in the air, low flying altitude, small reconnaissance and surveillance area, and could not continuously obtain information, or even cause intelligence "blind zone", which could not meet the needs of modern war. To that end, the U.S. Army has developed the Thiel II, an ultra-high altitude, long-endurance UAV.

Stealthy drone

In order to cope with the increasing threat of ground-based anti-aircraft fire, many advanced stealth technologies have been applied to the development of UAVs. One is the use of composite materials, radar absorbing materials and low noise engine. For example, in addition to the main beam, the US military "Thiel" II UAV almost all use graphite synthetic materials, and the engine air outlet and satellite communication antenna made a special design, flying at a height of more than 300 meters, human ears cannot hear; Above 900 meters, it is invisible to the naked eye. The second is to use the technology of limiting infrared light reflection, coating the surface of the fuselage with special paint that can absorb infrared light and injecting anti-infrared chemical agents into the engine fuel. The third is to reduce the gap on the fuselage surface and reduce the radar reflection surface. Four is the use of charging surface coating also has the characteristics of discoloration: from the ground up, the UAV has the same color as the sky; Seen from the sky, the drone appears the same color as the ground.

Airborne warning

The US military believes that 21st century aerial surveillance systems will consist mainly of drones. The U.S. military plans to replace the E-3 and E-8 manned early warning aircraft with early warning drones, making them the backbone of aerial surveillance in the 21st century.

Air combat

Attack UAV is an important development direction of UAV. Because the UAV can be deployed forward in advance, it can destroy the incoming missile at a far distance from the defense target, which can effectively overcome the shortcomings of the anti-missile missile such as "Patriot" or C-300, such as long reaction time, short intercept distance, and the debris after successful intercept still has damage to the defense target. For example, Germany's "Dahl" attack UAV can effectively deal with a variety of surface-to-air missiles and open up air channels for its own attack aircraft. Israel's "Harbi" anti-radiation drone, with automatic search, all-weather attack and the ability to attack multiple targets simultaneously.

It is important to note that drones are remotely controlled weapons, in which the operator must select the target and activate, aim and fire the weapon. So drones are not autonomous weapons.

Airportalization of warships

The Advanced Research Projects Agency (APR) announced the launch of the Tactical Utilisation Reconnaissance Nodes (TACR) program, or Yet-Euro, which envisions using smaller ships as mobile launch and recovery platforms for medium-altitude, long-endurance, fixed-wing UAVs. The plan is for the next generation of UAVs to be able to take off and land from small surface warships, expanding the range of the U.S. military's drones and allowing them to reach more distant battlefields.

All warships turned into drone platforms

The Yan-Ou will be a major leap forward for the US Navy's UAVs. Currently, the Navy can fly 10-foot-wide ScanEagle drones from destroyers and other ships, and Fire Scout unmanned helicopters from littoral combat ships. In addition to the X-47B prototype and its carrier derivative, the US is also developing land-based, unarmed, wide-area maritime surveillance (BAMS) drones, based on the US Air Force's Global Hawk, which is similar in size to a Boeing 737. In theory, wide-area maritime surveillance drones can take off from most US surface warships -- the navy has 122 of them -- but they lack range, speed and payload. As a result, the United States lacks a medium-weight drone: a fast, long-range armed drone that takes up little deck space and can land and take off from a variety of surface ships.

The development of reliable launch and recovery technologies is a major technical hurdle for the Yan-Ou project, according to the US Advanced Research Projects Agency. Littoral combat ships and destroyers don't have the deck space they need to take off from long distances, so they rely on ScanEagle drones that take off with the help of aircraft catapults and unmanned helicopters that take off vertically. In the 1980s and early 1990s, four of the US Navy's second world war battleships were fitted with Vanguard UAVs - about twice the size of ScanEagle UAVs - which were launched with strap-on boosters.

The Vanguard drones approach the ship with a dangling net, the ScanEagle with a dangling line, and the Fire Scout with a vertical helicopter. Compared with older UAVs, high-performance, fixed-wing UAVs require more propulsion and are more difficult to land.

It is important to note that in the 1990 s, the United States bell helicopter manufacturer, has designed a small "eagle eye" rotor unmanned aerial vehicle (uav), similar to the unmanned aerial vehicle (uav) as the company's 22 "osprey V - type tilting rotor machine, can be like a helicopter taking off and landing, but benefit from its engine nacelle, the uav can fly like airplane cruise. But the Hawkeye never found a buyer and was eventually scrapped. The Yan-Ou program is likely to revive the Hawkeye program.

If Yan-Ou is a success, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (APRA) will be ready to expand the size of the U.S. Navy's drone fleet, possibly turning almost all of its warships into mobile drone bases.

Swarm Intelligent Bee Swarm

On January 10, the US Department of Defense suddenly released an official video showing an intelligent test of a swarm of drones conducted in China Lake in October 2016. The video shows three Hornet fighters using special pods to release 103 miniature drones at a time. The drones (green dots) are clearly visible on the monitors of the ground controllers as they autonomously form and follow targets/commands (red dots). They can form in formation on target, move quickly on command, or form into a circle on ring command to surround an area. According to MoD sources, these "orders" were given to the "swarm", not to any individual. Swarms "talk" to each other all the time, creating "swarm intelligence" without an individual commander. Individual unmanned aerial vehicle (uav) in the process of cluster, if malfunction or loss, the remaining no chance to participate in the network of unmanned aerial vehicle (uav) based on the actual number of response to form independent adjustment formation, continue to complete the task goal, this is one of the most attractive features for unmanned aerial vehicle (uav) intelligent cluster technology, which have a systemic high viability.

These drones are not preprogrammed individuals acting in concert, but rather, like flocks of birds in nature, sharing decision-making brains and acting in concert with each other. The United States is entering a new era of robotic warfare.

Technical characteristics

To achieve high resolution image acquisition

The UAV can realize the acquisition of high-resolution images, which not only makes up for the shortcomings of satellite remote sensing that is often unable to obtain images due to cloud cover, but also solves the problems of the traditional satellite remote sensing revisit cycle is too long and the emergency is not timely.

Unmanned aircraft

Unmanned aerial vehicle system is composed of aircraft platform system, information acquisition system and ground control system.

The first generation was mainly known as Reconnaissance aircraft are the majority, and some UAVs are already armed (such as the RQ-1 Predator equipped with the AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missile). The military envisioned more of a role for drones, initially bombing and ground attacks, air-to-air combat, the last frontier for pilots. Armed drones are called Unmanned Fighter Aircraft (UCAV).

Launch and recovery

The new generation of UAVs can be launched and retrieved from a variety of platforms, such as ground vehicles, ships, aircraft, suborbiters and satellites. Ground controllers can check its program with a computer and change the drone's course as needed. Other more advanced technology, such as advanced eavesdropping devices, radar that penetrates leaves, and tiny spectrometers that provide chemical capabilities, will also be fitted to the drones.

The working process

(1) Start interface: quickly realize task planning, enter the task monitoring interface, realize the rapid and automatic archiving of aerial photography tasks, separate each function, and realize the specific and stable operation of the software.

(2) Pre-flight inspection: in order to ensure the safety of the task, automatic detection is carried out with flight control software before take-off to ensure that the GPS, compass, pitching and rolling of the aircraft are in good condition, so as to avoid the occurrence of dangerous situations in aerial photography.

(3) Flight mission planning: flight mission planning is carried out in the three modes of regional aerial photography, navigation and mixed.

(4) Airborne and flight monitoring: real-time control of the aircraft attitude, azimuth, airspeed, position, battery voltage, immediate wind speed and direction, task time and other important states, convenient for the operator to judge the execution of the task in real time, to further ensure the safety of the task.

(5) Image stitching: After the completion of the aerial photographing task, the aerial images are navigated for image stitching of the study area.



UAVs are widely used in police, urban management, agriculture, geology, meteorology, electric power, emergency rescue and relief, video shooting and other industries.

1. Application: Working principle of power inspection: the UAV equipped with high-definition digital video camera and camera and GPS positioning system can position and cruise autonomously along the power grid, transmit the shooting images in real time, and the monitoring personnel can watch and control them synchronously on the computer. Recommend reasons: the use of traditional artificial power line patrol, difficult conditions, low efficiency, the first line of power patrol workers will occasionally encounter the danger of "dog chased" "snake bite". The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) realizes electronic, informationized and intelligent inspection, and improves the efficiency, emergency level and reliability of power supply for inspection of power lines. In emergency situations such as flash floods and earthquake disasters, the UAV can survey and conduct emergency investigation on the potential dangers of the line, such as the collapse of the tower, etc., which is not affected by the road condition at all. It can not only avoid the pain of climbing the tower, but also survey the visual dead corner of the human eye, which is very helpful for the rapid restoration of power supply.

2. Application area: agricultural insurance working principle: using integrated high-definition digital camera, spectrum analyzer, thermal infrared sensor devices such as unmanned aerial vehicle (uav) flight on farmland, accurate measurement of their insurance land acreage, collected data can be used to evaluate agricultural risk situation, the insurance rates, and for the affected farmland fee, in addition, the uav patrol has realized the monitoring to the crops. Recommend reason: natural disasters occur frequently, in the face of the situation of no harvest, agricultural insurance is sometimes a life-saving straw for farmers, but because of the difficult claim, and let people have a lot of bitter water. The application of UAV in agricultural insurance can not only ensure the accuracy of loss determination and high efficiency of claim settlement, but also monitor the normal growth of crops and help farmers to carry out targeted measures to reduce risks and losses.

3. Working principle: The application of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the field of environmental protection can be roughly divided into three types. 1. Environmental monitoring: observe the air, soil, vegetation and water quality, and can also track and monitor the development of sudden environmental pollution events in real time and quickly; Second, environmental law enforcement: environmental supervision departments use unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with collection and analysis equipment to patrol in specific areas, monitor the waste gas and waste water emissions of enterprises and factories, and search for pollution sources. Three, environmental management: the use of flexible wing unmanned aerial vehicles carrying catalysts and weather detection equipment to spray in the air, the same working principle as unmanned aerial vehicles to spread pesticides, in a certain area to eliminate haze. Recommends reasons: UAV carries out aerial photography, strong durability, can also use far infrared night photography and other modes, to achieve all-weather aerial monitoring, UAV law enforcement is not limited by space and terrain. Strong timeliness, good mobility, a wide range of inspection, especially in the Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei region with severe smog, so that law enforcement personnel can timely detect the pollution sources, to a certain extent, slow down the pollution degree of haze.

4. Application: Film and TV drama shooting working principle: UAV carries high-definition camera, under the condition of wireless remote control, according to the requirements of the program shooting, under the remote control control from the air to shoot. Why you should check it out: The drone is capable of high-definition real-time transmission, with a range of up to 5km, while the standard definition transmission range is 10km. The UAV is flexible and mobile, as low as one meter and as high as four or five kilometers. It can chase a car, raise and pull it down, rotate from side to side, and even shoot with the horse's belly, which greatly reduces the shooting cost. Film using unmanned aerial vehicle (uav) success stories abound, both new jin director han's debut after the life, or a hot show "dad where to go", or the classic movies "harry potter" series, "007 awning to fall" 4 "transformers", etc., can be found from behind the scenes of unmanned aerial vehicle (uav). Drones have also played a role in reporting important events such as the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and the Qiantang River Tide on CCTV.

5. How it works: Drones can be used to take aerial photos of disputes over territory between the two countries, as well as rural land rights. Why we recommend it: Take the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands as an example. Drones are flexible and can be used to record the misdeeds of Japan around the Diaoyu Islands without having to send a single soldier. As a matter of fact, in some countries, the issue of determining the rights to borders involves different ethnic groups, and the dispatch of drones to collect border data has effectively avoided potential social conflicts.

6. Application: Street View Working principle: the use of unmanned aerial vehicles carrying shooting devices, to carry out large-scale aerial photography, to achieve the effect of aerial overlooking. Recommend reason: Google and Tencent Street View are "Out", that a car street view car again and again, maybe one day you and I will be in the face to take a picture, but the drone is very different, its street view pictures not only have a bird's eye view of the world perspective, but also with a little artistic atmosphere. Don't forget that drones can be at the front of the line when remote sensing satellites fail to shine in a permanently foggy region.

7. Application field: Express working principle: UAV can realize the delivery of shoebox packing goods of the following size, as long as the recipient's GPS address is input into the system, the UAV can take off to go. Why you should check it out: Amazon in the US and SF Express in China are excitedly testing the service, while Domino's Pizza in the US has successfully flown its first pizza delivery in the UK. Amazon claims the drones will deliver goods within 30 minutes to customers within a radius of 1.6 kilometers. It is said that SF Express developed the drone to solve the problem of delivery difficulty in remote areas. . Drone delivery is a novel idea, if it doesn't end up in users' heads. At the very least, a ring delivery drone at a wedding might be a bit of a surprise.

8. Application: Post-disaster relief How it works: UAVs equipped with high-definition cameras are used to take aerial photos of disaster areas, providing first-hand up-to-date images. What's cool: The drone is fast, taking just seven minutes from takeoff to landing and covering an area of 100,000 square kilometers, which is of great significance in the race against time for disaster relief efforts. In addition, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) ensure the safety of rescue work. By taking aerial photographs, dangerous areas that may be prone to landslides are avoided, which will provide valuable references for the rational allocation of rescue forces, the determination of key areas for disaster relief, the selection of safe rescue routes and the site selection for post-disaster reconstruction. In addition, the drones can monitor the situation in the affected area in real time from all aspects, so as not to cause secondary disasters. In fact, unmanned aerial vehicles are not only eight popular application areas, ten twenty has more than, and such as strong eagle unmanned aerial vehicles in surveying and mapping great advantages.

9. Application field: Remote sensing mapping working principle: First of all, remote sensing is the distant perception, in a broad sense, that is, you do not go to the target area, the use of remote control technology, the local situation of the inquiry. In a narrow sense, that means satellite and aerial images. Surveying, mapping and remote sensing is to use remote sensing technology to calculate on the computer and achieve the purpose of surveying and mapping behavior.


UAVs have a wide range of uses, low cost and high efficiency. No risk of loss of life; It has strong survivability, good maneuverability and easy to use. It plays an extremely important role in modern war and has a broad prospect in civil field.

The reconnaissance aircraft is used for battlefield reconnaissance and surveillance, positioning calibration, damage assessment, electronic warfare, etc. Also can be civil, such as border patrol, nuclear radiation detection, aerial photography, aviation exploration, disaster surveillance, traffic patrol, public security monitoring, etc. The target machine can be used as the target of artillery and missile.

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