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  • Writer's pictureArpit Shah

10 Commercial Applications of Drones

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

In previous posts, I have extracted information from Satellite imagery to study - Air Pollution, Object Detection, Fire Detection, Flood Detection, Urban Heat Island effect and Land Subsidence effect. Essentially, a satellite is an eye in the sky, operating at altitudes in excess of 500 kms, which captures geo-data which can be processed for a variety of uses.

Just as satellites, Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) too - albeit which are operated at altitudes just above ground level. In general, while satellites are better equipped to capture geo-data for large geographic extents at a fast pace, drones are are better equipped to capture a wide variety of geo-data, generally in finer detail and with more precision.

A drone is essentially made up of two components - a) the Copter and b) the Payload.

While the copter features determine how far you can fly and at up-to what height, it is the sensor(s) carrying payload which determine the industrial applications.

Let's begin to see 10 such industrial applications of Drones -

(Disclaimer: This isn't an exhaustive list. The purpose of the article is to showcase a wide variety of applications suitable for multiple industrial applications.)


1. Aerial Mapping

Map a particular geographic extent from above. Identify features, measure distances, demarcate zones, create an engaging illustration etc. Suitable across industries, institutions and govt. bodies.

Example: See how location features get mapped from an orthomosaic image -


2. Asset Inspection

Inspect assets in hard to reach places or where human inspection is costly such as electric and telecom towers, under a bridge, on roofs etc. Suitable for Oil & Gas, Telecom, Utilities, Insurance among other industries.

Example: See how drones are able to do inspection of an industrial chimney (a hard to reach place)-


3. Message Amplification

Deliver and spread messages across a geographic hub. Useful for crowd management, training, emergency response measures etc. Suitable across industries, especially for Events & Hazmat.

Example: See how police uses megaphone as a payload to communicate and manage crowds -


4. Multispectral Footage

See more than what visible light (optical imagery) shows you. Useful for multiple agriculture applications, vegetation analysis and thermal inspection purposes.

Example: See how drones can map out agricultural fields and generate valuable insight about crop growth and crop health -


5. Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry is the science of taking measurements from photographs. Useful for spatial visualization, monitoring construction progress and for creating engaging content. Suitable for Real Estate.

Example: See the final product - a detailed 3D model of a residential project - built using the imagery captured by a drone -


6. Search & Rescue Missions

Scan large areas for quick and efficient search for objects (lost persons, drowning incidents, wild creatures, assets). Useful for tricky terrain and for emergency situations where time is of the essence. Suitable for Large Geographies: Theme parks, Sanctuaries, Water bodies etc.

Example: See a promotional video which showcases how drones can map out an obscure location and help expedite rescue operations -


7. Security & Surveillance

Useful for spotting and detecting movement of both live (humans / animals) and non-live objects (vehicles). Suitable for multiple industries (at factories, distribution centers, campuses etc.)

Example: See a demonstration how a drone is able to capture human and vehicle movement, even at night, using thermal sensors -


8. Site Survey

Involves precise and exhaustive mapping of site - not just the visible portion on the top. This is possible due to specialized sensors. Works in Generic Environment as well as in Indoor Environments (Tunnels), Underground Environments (Mines) and for mapping Large Areas. Suitable for engineering organisations for mapping construction progress as well as for inspection purposes.

Example: Here you will see the beauty of Lidar mapping (Light Detection & Ranging) - wherein the site is surveyed with an amazing level of detail - including small plants, trees and vehicles -


9. Stockpile Estimation

Spot, measure and analyse raw material, inventory and finished goods stock at Ports, Mining locations or Distribution centers. The payload sensor is able to scan the image and get an estimate about the quantity of material they are mapping.

Example: See a video on how a drone, when equipped with appropriate sensors, can quickly scan inventory in a warehouse, here.


10. Supply Drops

Use drones for supplying small payloads (spare parts, medicines, food packets etc.) across reasonable distances. Suitable for E-commerce, Healthcare, Manufacturing organizations.

Example: See how drones can aid in disease containment with the spraying of enzymes on landfills -


Aren't these industrial applications useful? What new application can you think of? Interested to explore Drones for your organization?

Intelloc Mapping Services | Mapmyops is engaged in selling solutions which capture geodata (Drones & Survey Services), process geodata (Imagery & Location Analytics), and package geodata (Map-based Applications). Together, these help organizations to benefit from Geo-Intelligence which aids in operations planning & improvement.

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