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Here’s How to Control a Long-Range Military Drone

Many processes and tasks involve capturing footage or monitoring extensive infrastructure or vast land areas. These are often carried out on foot or motor vehicles. As a result, traditional processes are often time-consuming and expensive.

Today, long-range commercial and military drones are essential for capturing footage across long distances quickly and easily. Drones can also perform many other tasks, making them a valuable tool for nearly every industry.

In this article, we’ll look at the typical range of drones and how to control them. We’ll also look at the different applications of long-range drones for both commercial and military purposes.

What is the Typical Range of Commercial and Military Drones?

A drone’s range refers to how far it can fly while maintaining a viable signal. Different models have varying flight ranges. For example, toy drones may range from 18 to 91 meters (20-100 yards). 

Mid-level drones often have ranges of 400 meters to 3 kilometers (0.25-1.5 miles). Long-range drones, including military drones, travel as far as 4-8 kilometers (2.5-4.5 miles) from their controller. 

That said, it’s worth noting that range isn’t the only important factor when flying drones. Aside from battery life and maximum altitude, another factor to remember is the line-of-sight limitation. This limitation can vary depending on where you plan to fly your drone.

How to Control a Long-Range Drone

Long-range drones like industrial or army drones can travel as far as 4.5 miles from their controller. Companies looking to survey, photograph, or scan large areas or pieces of infrastructure benefit significantly from investing in these drones.

With this in mind, it’s also worth noting that optimizing a drone with camera means piloting it effectively at long ranges. Here are the many ways you can control a long-range drone to get the most out of its flight time:

1. Use the Remote Control

The first way that commercial and military drones are controlled is through their remote controller. Remote controllers often come in different shapes and sizes. However, they are generally comprised of a transmitter, receiver, and the controller itself.

These parts work as follows:

  • Transmitter – The transmitter sends the signal from the controller to the drone
  • Receiver – The receiver is the part that receives the transmitter’s signal and sends it to the controller
  • Controller – The handheld device that controls the drone’s actions, which can be simple or complex depending on the drone model

2. Use a Computer Interface

Computers can also be used for operating drones at longer ranges. These often vary in complexity depending on the software. 

Specific computer interfaces can be as simple as a joystick for controlling the drone’s general direction. Meanwhile, others may have different sensors and buttons that control more specific movements.

A commercial or military drone can be easily outfitted with custom interfaces for more precision. They can be especially useful for search and rescue operations since custom software can integrate with image processing apps.

3. Ensure Safety When Flying 

Long-range drones can quickly fly farther than 500 meters away from their controller. However, these high-end army drones can be expensive and challenging to fly and maintain. 

To ensure safety and precision when flying long ranges, keep the following in mind:

  • Maintain physical line of sight – Keeping the drone within your line of sight minimizes the chance of it crashing
  • Read the manual – Reading the manual beforehand helps ensure that all the necessary instructions for flying are followed correctly
  • Understand local regulations – Local regulations can have various limits on drones, from size to maximum altitude

 Increase the Drone’s Range 

Increasing the drone’s range can be necessary for many military and commercial applications.

There are a few ways to increase a drone’s range. The first is to update the firmware settings to get the drone’s optimal operating range. Another is installing an antenna extender or replacing the antenna with a more powerful receiver. 

The third way is to invest in a range extender for the drone. This can be a budget-friendly option that significantly boosts the drone’s operating range. 

What are the Military and Commercial Applications of Drones?

In recent years, drones are versatile tools that have become popular for military, commercial, and recreational use. There are many applications for long-range drones, given the demand for devices that can quickly scan and monitor vast areas.
Licensed drone pilots can operate commercial and military drones for all kinds of sectors, such as the following:

1. Construction 

Drones are not only used in site monitoring and 3D mapping during the early stages of a construction project. They also inspect a building’s progress and minimize potential hazards

2. Agriculture 

Drones not only monitor plant and soil health thanks to special sensors and software that allow for NDVI imaging. Specialized military and commercial drones can also carry customized payloads for spraying and seeding.

3. Mining 

In the mining sector, drones inspect different parts of a tunnel. They can assess a mine shaft’s structural integrity or check for potential hazards without endangering miners or inspection teams.

The Bottom Line 

Military and commercial drones open up many business opportunities to expand and streamline operations. As a result, many companies are looking to invest in their drones and optimize them as much as possible.

However, regardless of the method operators use, keeping the drone stable while airborne is the most crucial part. This can be challenging in many cases, such as windy conditions or carrying a payload. 

Extending the range of the drone is one way to optimize each flight run. A simple UAV can bring more data between charge cycles with the proper support apps and tools.