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UAV/Drone Patrol

Demand for drones in security applications

Drones are already more widely used in the security industry than many might have realised, if our survey is any barometer. Sixteen percent of respondents – mostly comprising security professionals, heads of security and other senior executives – say they already deploy the technology. Three in five (60%) either already use drones or can foresee themselves doing so eventually, so it doesn’t seem hyperbolic to describe the growth trajectory for this market as heading sharply upwards.

Drones as a service

Replicating a model gaining ground in access control and long dominant in intruder alarms, the provision of drones as a service is likely to suit businesses that only need security drones periodically, want the flexibility to scale their operation up or down rapidly, or simply want to test the concept without making a big investment in hardware and training.

Unlike more established security technologies like CCTV, access control and intruder alarms, drone use does not benefit from the accumulation over several decades of guidance, operational methodologies and technical standards. They represent if not uncharted territory, then certainly lightly explored terrain.


There are many ways drones can help enterprise security teams to manage their risk mitigation efforts more efficiently, safely and cost-effectively, including:

  • Risk assessments: Enterprise security personnel can use drones to find gaps and vulnerabilities that wouldn’t normally be seen, thanks to a different point of view, says James A. Acevedo, president at Star River Incorporated. “Rather than seeing things in a 2D frame, you’re seeing things in a 3D frame, which really changes the dynamic of how you position your security countermeasures
  • Perimeter control and other security officer situations: Drones can help monitor perimeters, parking lots, prisons, college campuses, stadiums and other outdoor venues. Using a thermal imaging camera makes this possible at night as well.
  • Inspections: Security teams can now inspect and monitor roofs and other high places from the ground with drones.
  • Executive security: If you have an executive protection team that’s operating in remote locations, they could potentially utilize a drone to do forward observation of routes and to identify any potential issues that are en route while they’re driving their primaries around
  • Securing remote assets: If you’re trying to secure hundreds of acres of land or animals out in the pasture, drones are a great way to watch for poachers or predators. They can check on machinery, pipelines, wind farms and other infrastructure in remote areas.
  • Safety: A drone can usually get to a prison fight, an intruder and other potential problems faster than an officer can and assess the risk so personnel know better how to respond. Drones also have the capability to analyze images and use audio and video sensors to listen for gunfire, explosions and the like.
  • Emergency relief: They’re being used as security monitoring and sensing tools, everything from video to audio to infrared. They’re also being used to find people inside of collapsing buildings or earthquake victims
  • Cost savings: For many enterprises, implementing drones can mean big cost savings. For instance, if you want to monitor a power center or operational center, without drones, you’re using everything from full-time security officers to cameras, and of course fencing, and maybe even helicopters if there’s an issue. Drones can be set up to surveil the property continuously overnight.