How do drones Work?

How Drones Work
How Drones Work


Defining Drones

How can we define Drones to the armed forces or the military? They are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or (UAV). Drones are also referred to as Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS)

Drones are particularly useful in conditions where flights operated by people can’t fly because of the difficulty and risk factor. It acts as vigilance from above the sky and aids the soldiers, all round the week. The drone aircrafts can stay overhead for a long time span, hovering over region and giving feedback in the form of live images about the activities happening on the ground.

Working of Drones Simplified

The working of drones may seem very easy, but this freely flying man made wonders has quite a lot of complex technology build in them. So before going in details about the working of drones, we need to understand the difference between them and their ancestors – helicopters which were operated by remote controls. Drone makers have a common view that drones can fly independently, even if no directions are given from pilots.


When analyzing the main points of difference between structural aeronautics and unmanned aircrafts or drones, detailing is the main key factor. Smart copters possess several rotors. Meanwhile, more than one propeller can be present in RC copters, but in the case of hobbyist drones multi propellers are needed so that the unmanned airborne devices becomes self-dependent and thereby attain that amount of control.

If a drone contains several propellers, it reduces the amount of failure of the device. For example, if a particular motor gives in or stops working, the device will still continue flying as the other propellers will work in tandem. Moreover, the more number of motors adds to the elevation an aircraft will achieve, helping to carry larger weights. This is very useful when a camera is fastened with the drone. Drones with cameras are used in football matches, to capture the aerial shots which give excellent viewing angles. If a drone has several rotors, the designers shorten the blade sizes, which makes these airborne wonders easy to manage and very safe.

In order to make the propellers turn, a source of power is needed. Drones usually have removable battery sources attached with them, which provides enough juice to last for around 12 minutes in air. Several drone manufacturers vend extra batteries and the flight time can be extended till 25 minutes. There is a slight disadvantage in this process, as increased power signifies increased weight which curtails the airtime. It would be a fantastic sight to watch a drone fly for long hours, but that demands a highly powerful battery, which would be a sort of anchor, pulling it down.

How Drones Fly

For drones to fly, having a controller is must. A device that a pilot can use for launching, navigating the device in air and finally help it land successfully. There are various forms of controllers, it can be a form of gamepad or they may be like smartphones or even in the shape of a tablet. So, however a controller may look like, their primary function is establishing a communication with drones and they use radio waves in the process. Normally, drones are operated by radio waves in the frequency of 2.4 Gigahertz. While controlling the drone and for proper communication, some controllers take the help of Wi-Fi, which is relayed in the 2.4 GHz spectrum. Both the tablets and the smartphones are capable of catching it, without the help of any other accessories.

GyroscopeIf a close analysis of the technologies used in smartphones and drones are done, they are similar on many facets. They have taken many onboard mechanics, which have found their place in the smartphone industry. Firstly, is the GPS chip that is implanted in the drone, which conveys the controller the location related details? It also has another use; it records the details of the spot from where the aircraft is taking off and keeps it in store, if the drone has to land without any assistance from the controller. Gyroscopes are another device that is found in the accelerometer of smartphones, drones are found using this technology.

So if we look at the flying process in detail, the onboard sensors present in the drones keep them in air. For example, an altimeter tells the drone about the altitude it is present at. As the flying device hovers in air, the chip implanted in it helps maintaining the proper height. The drone needs to be aligned properly in the x axis as well as the z axis, the GPS chips comes into play here, it aids the alignment of the aircraft in its axes, guiding it when it is countered by a strong wind. But according to the manufacturers, some of the bigger drones can withstand strong winds blowing at 50 mph.

The Landing

So much said about the flying of drones, the landing process can be tricky, it can offer some challenges. Like all crafts which have propellers installed in them, drones are also designed to land gradually and slowly. The drop in process happens quickly, in the altitude and drones are sometimes trapped in the vacuum, created by their own rotors.  This gap in air in the altitude is difficult even for real helicopters to escape (same is the case for remote controlled helicopters),as the aircrafts speed up to land down, the strength  of the air vacuum becomes stronger and the aircrafts is pulled down with a greater force.

Drones use innovative methods which are changing the way we perceive technology. Though the development processes are in the very primitive stages, there is a huge scope of advancement. The tapping of a camera with the drones is getting popular, it has a system which positions the occurrences visually and also includes a couple of ultrasonic sensors which help in landing. If drones are flown indoors or in a place where there is no GPS, the camera creates an imagery or map of the land underneath, thereby determining a safe area for landing. The sensors notify the done its closeness with the ground. So, practically the technology is so strong that if a drone has to land in an uneven or harsh place, it is seemingly very easy.

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