What type of drone is the best for my department?
The answer to this question truly depends on your use cases, and the answer may be more than one type of UAV. This is why we suggest speaking with us directly so we can assess your needs and customize the perfect drone program for your agency.
For starters, there are two broad categories of UAV – rotor and fixed wing.
Fixed wing (think small, unmanned airplane) aircraft can often times fly longer distances with less battery power, due to the inherent lift afforded by the wings. The trade off though with fixed wing, is that they often times need runways to takeoff or land. Many commercially available fixed-wing UAVs can be thrown or caught, but this is a consideration you’ll want to think about.
Rotorcraft (think small helicopters) need lots of battery power to achieve lift, but they are capable of vertical takeoff and landing. Single-rotor, like a small helicopter, and multi-rotor, are the most common types of UAVs on the market today. Within the rotorcraft category lays two subcategories – free-flying and tethered.
Free-flying drones do just that – fly free – whereas tethered drones are attached to the ground.
Tethered drones are useful in a very specific set of circumstances, because they get power up through the tether, and video downlink along the tether. This can be useful on long-endurance scenes, such as storm cleanup, hostage situations, and large festivals. Constant power through a tether obviates the need to change batteries regularly, and these aircraft can be in the air for hours at a time.