1. WHAT IS A CIVILIAN UAV?
A civilian UAV is a remotely piloted flying robot laden with sensors that can carry a payload. This payload can be a camera, a video camera, a thermal camera, probes or any other type of sensor. Depending on the size of the UAV, the payload weight can be a maximum of 4 to 5 kg.
2. WHAT IS IT FOR?
The payload carried by the UAV, usually a camera, is used to take shots for technical or artistic purposes. Examples include photos for inspecting a structure, analysing natural risks, mapping a village, thermal shots of factory buildings, showcasing heritage sites using video, etc.
The applications are infinite, particularly because the payload can take numerous forms and the image processing technologies are advancing in leaps and bounds. A civilian UAV is a tool for capturing aerial data to be processed and analysed, enabling the end customers to resolve issues.
3. WHAT FORMS CAN A CIVILIAN UAV TAKE?
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– Stationary flight
– Highly controllable
– High payload capacity (up to 5 kg)
– Battery life limited to 20 minutes
– Relatively complex to setup
– Long battery life, >40 minutes
– Large surface areas and distances covered
– Limited number of applications
– Low payload weight
4. ARE THERE REGULATIONS?
France is one of the first countries to have established regulations on the use of civilian UAVs on its territory. Below are the scenarios set up by the French Civil Aviation Authority and in which all civilian UAV assignments take place, notably based on the operational environment. It is important that contractors familiarise themselves with these scenarios so that non-standard requests can be limited and assignments can be carried out under optimal safety conditions. These scenarios are still current at the time this page was written in April 2015.
5. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF USING A UAV?
A civilian UAV can replace certain existing tools such as a helicopter, microlight planes and satellites, as well as human beings in certain cases, such as rope access workers.
The main advantages are as follows:
A civilian UAV does not transport any people and therefore does not pose a risk to their safety.
Getting a civilian UAV up and running is a very fast process. This saves a considerable amount of time compared with deploying rope access workers or a helicopter.
Gaining access to places where human beings cannot go is one of the abilities of civilian UAVs. Our customers can discover new viewpoints.
A civilian UAV produces very little noise. It uses electrical power to minimise pollution and its batteries can be recycled.
Administrations, businesses and organisations that use UAVs can benefit from the positive and innovative image these tools convey.