My part of our engineering 197 intro to engineering as a major final presentation. No idea what my grade was.
In 1903 the first plane was invented by the Wright brothers. By 1916 engineer and physicist Archibald Low had attempted to make the first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, but its taken a long time to get to modern UAVs. The popularity and innovation of the UAV was increased in World War One, the most famous one of this era is the Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Airplane which was used to carry explosives to a target. In 1935 the first scale remote piloted vehicle was developed by an english movie star. In World War II UAVS were used, but until the Vietnam Era they weren’t a significant part of military operations.
Although in the 1950’s there had been the advancement because of jet engines being used, this was the first time that UAVs were actually beginning to be unmanned, instead of simply piloted by radio transmission. This innovation came about because military officials were worried about losing pilots in especially hostile areas. One of the biggest pushes towards this technology came when Pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down over Russia in a U-2 plane.
Today at least 50 countries make use of UAVS for military purposes. In the United States over half of the air force fleet is UAVs the most common being the predator.
Benefit to Society
The most common thought of application for UAVs outside of the military is for police and firefighters. Police can use them to monitor land, looking for things like drug operations, and wanted criminals, which is especially helpful in places police would normally have a hard time reaching. Firefighters can use them to survey land during a fire so that they can have accurate information about where a fire is and how to control it.
Large farming operations can use Unmanned Arial Vehicles for crop inspection. From the ground it would be nearly impossible to inspect all the crops for disease, or damage due to weather, but a UAV can provide them with photographs.
Wildlife preservation has recently started using UAVs to monitor animals without disturbing them, see where deforestation is occurring and, catch people poaching. The technology can also be used in archaeology in places like Peru.
During natural disasters UAVs can be used to get up to date accurate information about storms as they go by, something that would be too risky for a person to do. Micro UAV’s can be used to assist in search and rescue efforts, affectively finding the person as well as surveying damage caused by natural disasters.
In Mining Unmanned Ariel Vehicles are used to do geomagnetic surveys which can tell geologists the nature of underlying rocks. They can also be used by oil and gas companies to monitor the integrity of above ground pipes using digital cameras on the UAVs. There is also application of this by electric companies with power lines.