Drones are changing the status quo thanks to their speed, size, maneuverability and applied technologies: they are the perfect complement for ground security teams, enabling the performance of routine monitoring and trigger responses less expensively and more efficiently.
Drones can easily cover large and difficult-to-reach areas from above, reducing staff numbers and costs, and their operators do not require much space. Furthermore, operators of many drones, either for a single site or for geographically widely distributed sites, can be gathered in a single place, just as with traditional video monitoring, enabling instant communication between different operators, and a more integrated analysis and response to the situation. To be sure, a full time operator is not always necessary. As the sophistication of drone image analysis software increases, both the frequency as false alarms, and intrusions slipping through the parameters set for the drone decline. When the pre-defined parameters (eg; human profile or movement within 50 meters of the perimeter) are triggered, an alarm highlighting the triggered parameter can be sent to the rapid response team securing the site, either at the operations room, or simply to the mobile phone of one or more team member.
How these advantages any different from those offered by long used stationary cameras? First, intruders can’t easily step out of sight or seek to disable the camera. Second, drones can cover areas that are not easily accessible to camera. Third, the vantage point of drones provides them with an effectively greater line of site. Finally, integrating the data provided from a few drones is far easier than that provided by scores of camera.
But there’s more. drones can also perform remote reconnaissance and rapid accident assessments to ensure that an area is safe for a response team to enter, thereby ensuring a prompt reaction to security alarms; thereby improving the success rates of response groups.
For these reasons, drones are increasingly utilized as an integral portion of security in vital infrastructure around the world.
In Abu Dhabi, ADPC – the company that manages all the city’s ports – decided to supplement its security system with drones.
During sporting events such as the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, drones were used to ensure the safety of the visitors. Their main task was to track crowds in high-traffic areas and provide vast amounts of real-time data for security teams in the event of any disturbances. This enabled response teams to gauge a problem before it escalated.
The Red Cross has also tested other uses of drones during such events – for example, identifying injuries to immediately dispatch medical help.
As is clear from the above, drones have many potential applications in the security industry it is likely that data gathered by drones will in the near future be instantly processed in the cloud, providing complete scene recognition supplementing human supervision.