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Commercial Uses

UAS technology is being used in the commercial sector in areas such as:

Precision Agriculture

FOV positioned in afield
Precision agriculture is predicted to be one of the biggest commercial users of UAS. Photo courtesy of Field of View
Unmanned aircraft systems reduce the time and manpower needed to perform essential agricultural-related tasks. UAS enhance the producer's ability to monitor crops and livestock. UAS technology is able to alert farmers to insect threats or depleting water and nutrient level problems before they become detrimental to crop growth. UAS also have the capability to analyze pesticide and fertilizer levels, deliver vital nutrients to crop, monitor plant health, and evaluate the growth of a specific field section.

Agriculture applications for UAS include:
  • pesticide spraying
  • crop monitoring
  • livestock tracking
  • yield estimations
  • crop harvesting
  • disease detection and mitigation
  • moisture monitoring
According to AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International), once UAS technology is fully integrated into the National Airspace System or NAS, nearly 80% of commercial UAS use will be in the agricultural sector.


Disasters & Emergency Response

Emergency Responder Draganflyer
UAS can survey areas too dangerous for humans and help quickly find victims in disaster situations.
UAS prove invaluable in their ability to reach places manned vehicles cannot. UAS allow for monitoring and prediction of flood, tornadoes and forest fires, as well as assisting in search-and-rescue situations.
Advanced infrared cameras can be mounted to UAS to pick up on the heat signatures of people trapped in debris and rubble, which can then be used to direct emergency teams to their exact locations. UAS technology can even be used to deploy emergency provisions such as food, water or life rafts to victims of disaster.


Energy Monitoring

Pipeline monitoring, spill assessment, even the checking of wind turbine blades can all be done using UAS.
UAS can assist in the expansion of exploration of oil, gas and mineral deposits in North Dakota, as well as around the globe. They are able to monitor transmission lines and pipelines, inspect underwater wells, and monitor pollution levels. More widespread use of UAS in this role will help ensure the safe collection, production and distribution of underground or underwater mineral deposits.
Energy companies can also dispatch UAS to detect defective blades on wind turbines. Technicians must scale the towers in all kinds of weather conditions to assess the problem. Prior knowledge (through imagery sent from a UAS) would enable technicians to be more efficient in their preparation to repair or replace defective blades.  



Scientific Research

Science Research
Research applications for UAS are unlimited and many creative uses are being explored.
The applications of UAS technology in collecting scientific research are limitless. UAS are well-suited to collect highly-accurate information in environments that would be impossible or dangerous for humans. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) uses UAS technology to conduct hurricane, atmospheric, weather, and climate studies in dangerous or high-altitude settings. UAS technology can also be used for:
  • biological research
  • wildlife conservation efforts
  • archeological surveys
  • polar or volcanic research
  • monitoring animal poaching
  • oceanographic research


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