A peep into the world of Drones

3년 전

I was at a wedding party some months ago and was having a superb time. While I was dangling my head to the music being played and enjoying a sumptuous meal of pounded yam and Vegetable I was paying close attention to the video coverage crew opposite me alongside. These guys were effectively using drones alongside other cameras for their operations and I was just impressed by their brilliant work. Well it did not come as a surprise to me that the final video for the wedding was one of the most amazing videos I have ever seen and this was as a result of them including drones in their operation.

Drones are one of the most sophisticated and advanced equipment in robotics, aeronautics, and electronics. The massive investment in business and consumer drone technology this past few years has been incredible and this has facilitated the swift revolution and constantly evolving drone technology. Drones typically are designed with different configuration and function, so they are manufactured in different size and shape to meet the need of the users. They range from very small drones that can easily be launched from our hands to super advanced military drones that requires runway to launch.

In recent times Drone have become have become more sophisticated with superb state of the art features which makes them more intriguing and they have gradually become an integral part of the everyday life of some individuals as well as some businesses. It has effectively and efficiently contributed immensely to making daily operations easier for numerous professionals and hobbyist.

Drones are essential parts of various sectors such as search and rescue, video coverage of events, photography, forestry weather analysis, news reporting to mention put a few. This facilitates the ease with which production is done. These professionals can program the drone with numerous features, for instance if the drone is programmed with a GPS location, the drone can make its way to that location and carry out operations specified by the user or sometimes it could track the user’s mobile phone and follow the user around while taking photos or videos.

Drones were designed initially to eliminate situations where military officers lose their lives when they are deployed to dangerous locations to gain intel. Drones came on board as a suitable replacement to carry out operations such as intelligence and surveillance operation of targets in dangerous locations and eliminate the need for human life to be risked. However, as technology advances drones evolved and were also used to perform far more critical tasks at the lowest possible risks. Some of the operations drones perform are hacking, bomb detection, dropping missiles, providing tactical support amongst various others. They play a critical role in surveillance to ensure terrorist attacks are prevented.

The combination of advanced technology working together to make the Drone efficient makes it a superb tool for delivering items to inaccessible location and are used by construction engineers to have an excellent view of projects and easily spot any error that wouldn’t have been easy to see from the ground. Drones have efficiently utilized by commercial farmers to monitor vast fields and livestock to boast productivity. The list is endless.


Now let’s check out the operations of drones


Personally whenever kids ask me questions about drones, I just simply tell them drones are flying computers or robots, so they can understand it easily. But generally they are called “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” which can be set to work autonomously or be controlled by the user using a remote and for sophisticated drones a control system on ground is used to monitor and control. The drones have intelligent software that facilitate these processes.

Regardless of the function or how sophisticated a drone is designed, they all have some basic and similar components which we would be taking a brief look at to facilitate our understanding of how drones function.

Frame: this is the part of the drone that primarily gives adequate support to the drone, it is also a huge determinant of the strength of the drone. The function of the drones would determine the configuration as well as the materials that would be used, but the most common materials used are plastics or carbon fiber. For drones to achieve fantastic flight characteristics their weight is of utmost importance, and as a result of the strength coupled with the light weight of carbon fiber they are mostly used.

Motors: The motor is the most important part of the drone and choosing a suitable kind of motors is paramount to the overall output of the drone. Primarily this is determined by purpose of the drone and the power required by it. For instance, if a drone is required to carry heavy payloads and still a superb possible flight time, the most suitable motor to achieve this effectively would be a lower spinning high torque motor.

Propellers: This is the part of the drone that facilitates its flight and the ease of maneuvering, propellers achieve this by generating adequate thrust and torque when required. They are designed to suit the need of the drone so they are produced in different shapes and sizes to match their function.

Batteries: This is the part that provides adequate power to all the systems of the drone and ensures they fly. It is important to choose batteries with suitable capacities and weight to match the various function of the drone and not be damage the components in the drone overtime. Typically, as the capacity of the battery increases, the weight also increases.

Electronic Speed Controller: its plays an important role because hovering would be unavoidable if the motors within the drone move at the same speed. So the Electronic speed controller is responsible for controlling the speed and it ultimately runs the motor to ensure they spin at different speed. The ratings of ESC are characterized by the quantity of current constantly supplied to the motor system.

Transmitter and Receiver: Typically, the remote control that is used to control the drone is mostly a combination of a transmitter and a receiver. Basically the transmitter is responsible for transmitting signals and the number of channels that would be used by the drone would determine the kind of transmitter to be used. For the case of Receivers, they basically deliver the signal it receives to the motors for operation.


How do All these components effectively work together for the smooth operation of a drone?


The drone's controller is responsible for establishing a suitable communication channel between the drone and the remote control unit using radio waves. These controllers could look similar to a gamepad, or they could have softwares that could be used on smartphones, tablets or computers which are used to determine the various operation of the drones.

Once the drone is turned ON, the battery powers the various systems within the drone and once flight mode is activated the propellers immediately start spinning. The individual propellers produce different torques that ultimately creates a Lift for the drone. The lift generated is crucial to how high and fast a drone can fly, as well as the type of weight the drone can carry during flights. so basically The type and number of rotors would ultimately generate the lift.

So as the rotors are Rev Up they continues to overcome the force of gravity and move higher. For cases where the lift of the drone is not adequate the drone would not get off the ground, even if it manages to get off the ground it would end up crashing in the end. For drone to maintain its movement in a desired direction at the required height., Sensors are put in place to facilitate this process as well as ascertains the speed, altitude and motor rotation

During flight if the drone is required to alter direction and altitude, this would be achieved by the spinning of the propellers relative to one another. For instance, if you pay close attention when a drone is making a forward motion you would notice the obvious difference in the spinning rate of the propellers at the back and front of the drone. This is because more power is applied by the propellers at the back while less power is applied by the propellers at the front to achieve the forward motion. These variations facilitate the drone’s roll motions. Similarly, power is ultimately increased in the whole propeller system for the drone to make an upward motion while power is decreased in the whole system for the drone to make a downward motion.

Additionally, when the drone needs to tilt to a particular side, more lift is simply generated on that particular side such that two rotors spin faster and this results in the upward lift turning into a sideways force to achieve the tilt and subsequently the drone can move forward or backward as the case maybe.

Basically this is how drones effectively maneuvers and moves swiftly. However, at the push of a button the algorithm and built in code within the drone takes care of these details and effectively applies adequate power to the right propellers to make the desired movement as directed by the user.

Another important feature effectively utilized by the drone to maintain their orientation in space are Accelerometer and gyroscopes. These tools ultimately detect all the directional cues and ensures that the drones fly safe, avoid crashing to the ground during landing or inflicting injury on the user operating them or any one standing close by.

For situations where motors within the drone abruptly stops working during flight, the drones don’t just come crashing to the ground as a result but instead continues flying as a result of the specially designed multi propellers which provide adequate support by working in groups. Hence some drones are independent and failures are reduced. However due to the advancement of technology latest drone are designed with special features that simplify the difficult aspects of flying to reduce failure and risks. An example is the drone landing assistance which is put in place to land the drone efficiently without damaging it.


CONCLUSION


Drones are combinations of advanced technologies that are utilized to perform varieties of functions. They come in Different shapes, sizes and configurations to suit users. With the advancement of technology and swift innovations and modifications in drone technology the internal electronics and structure are being improved and latest drones are designed with more advanced features.

However, if you intend buying a sophisticated drone in the nearest future either for work or pleasure just make sure you put you take the security of your drones seriously because drones are prone to being hacked if adequate measures are not put in place to protect them.


REFERENCES


drones

how do drones Fly

what is a drone and how does it work

drones: what are they and how do they work

what is drone technology



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this is superb , i learnt so much about drones today, my first encounter with them was not so favorable, i thought it was the end of the world.

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