Drones Protect Our Environment, But How?

Drones are not only used to protect our environment and saving our planet, but they have saved many lives as they have become famous for their dangerous missions. These missions include measuring radioactivity in nuclear disaster zones, flying military missions in war zones, collecting biological samples from wild animals, detecting and deterring illegal animal poaching, even spying on polluters who are guilty of illegally dumping toxic material.

Multi-faced Functions:

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are also being used to capture biological samples from whales (e.g. whale snot) and even recording their underwater communications.

All kinds of scientists are using drones to try to keep track and to protect our environment. Drones are providing scientists with a look at the internal structure of a weather system. Studies also continue to do research on how changes in water vapor in the stratosphere can affect global climate.

UAVs have become the newest tools in the fight to preserve the environment. If we can use the smartest, most efficient, and environmentally friendly tools, we can reduce our waste, curb our emissions, and then start undoing the damage we have done for many years.

For one, the use of drones will fight climate change by substantially reducing carbon emitted from commercial and industrial transportation.

Drones, with the used of digital models, are able to detect changes in the structure of mines and find early detection of deviations and threats such as landslides, damages to infrastructure, etc. by monitoring production process in open pit mines. This not only increases safety, but also decreases the cost of controlling processes.

To avoid serious problems such as breakdowns with wind turbines, oil pipelines, solar panels, high-voltage power lines, etc. that can have disastrous consequences requires, drones are used extensively and continually by monitoring and inspecting these parts of infrastructure. By using aerial robots to stream videos back to teams on the ground, unnecessary equipment, time and manpower are spared so that dangerous missions can be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

UAVs are having a very serious impact on the environment partly by keeping track of those who, whether individuals or authorities, are plotting environmental violations. In China, for instance, they combat air pollution by deploying several drones to keep track of illegal emissions produced by open-cast mines during the night.

Weather Patterns & Atmospheric Research:

Ozone in the upper atmosphere plays a critical role in protecting the earth’s surface from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation and EPA and NASA are using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor the ozone layer, as well as testing its makeup. At the same time environmental consultants are using drones for air pollution sampling.

Meteorologists are presently using radar, satellites and balloons to check conditions in the upper and middle atmosphere, whereas researchers are using drones to measure the lower atmosphere since it is difficult to access ground with toxic gases and extreme temperatures.

Drones are also being used with the hope of being able to warn about an impending tornado before it strikes. Oklahoma Researchers have found weather drones helping forecasters predict weather patterns more accurately and thus providing warning by as much as 20 to 60 minutes earlier.

Forests & Plantation:

Ecologists point out that drones are being used to to make sure trees and forests are healthy. They do this by surveying forests extensively and continually to provide scientists with substantial data on the condition of trees in particular, and forests as a whole.

Drones are being used in fighting against deforestation in various parts of the world.

They are flown over areas to map it and collect information concerning the topography and condition of the soil and then combined with satellite data and analyzed to determine the best location to plant seeds. After the surveying is done, drones fire biodegradable pods which are filled with germinated seeds and nutrients into the ground.

Wildfires & Storms:

Unmanned aerial vehicles have become an essential tool for firefighters, especially those who have the extremely difficult task of putting out wildfires. Drones are used not only for spotting wildfires and gauging their movement, but they can fight fires now, keeping people out of danger.

In 2013, NASA initiated a program for investigating tropical storms, hoping to find better understanding of why some systems turn into deadly hurricanes, while others dissipate. For these missions, the researchers selected enormous Global Hawk drones, which have a wingspan as wide as a 737 and can fly for 28 straight hours at a maximum of 60,000 feet (18.3 kilometers), which is much higher than most piloted planes.

Equipped with scientific instruments, the drones provided a constant stream of data regarding atmospheric conditions and storm intensity. Those instruments include a scanning high- resolution interferometer sounder instrument and Cloud Physics Lidar, as well as a drops on the system from the National Oceanographic and Atmosphere Association. Together, these tools stream data about layered temperatures within a storm, cloud structure, etc.


Assessing damage in the wake of natural disasters, flying robots can provide critical data on river conditions to flood-prone communities. Images can be snapped every couple of seconds and later analyzed to locate obstructions in the river channel.

Not only do unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) help scientists track and dissect the inner workings of hurricanes, but they can also help in the aftermath of these huge storms and other natural disasters.

It is no secret that weather has many variables that affect the strength of storms, and drones have played a pivotal role in making it possible for researchers to get a better view—an eye in the sky view—and thus understanding of how the various aspects of weather fit together/function.

There is no doubt that drones have saved lives and hopefully will help protect our environment and save our planet. Such worthy service should be an inspiration for many to become technologists and scientists who enter this field of endeavor.

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