We all are familiar with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles commonly known as UAVs or Drones. These are astonishing devices equipped with state of the art technology and can traverse the unbridled boundaries of skies without being driven by human pilots present in them. These are, as a matter of fact, are manoeuvred by extremely powerful computing devices. In case of toy drones, however, they are manipulated by small sized remote control transmitters.
As far as the classification of drones is concerned, there are no set standards or rules. Drones are being developed by manufacturers as well as users depending on their usage and requirements. They come in a number of different shapes and sizes. Military is one discipline where drones have been able to create a permanent niche for themselves. The drones are being to use for the purposes of reconnaissance in areas which are dangerous to be infiltrated by human soldiers.
All the countries of the world have created disparate standards and set of rules in accordance of their needs for drones. As far as a common consumer is concerned, the drones can be of numerous sizes and shapes. A drone is likely to make vibes among the dronies if it is equipped with cutting edge features.
In general, drones are classified on the basis of their sizes. Let’s have a look at them:
1 – Very Small Drones
These sorts of drones are those whose sizes are just about the size of large sized insects and range up to approximately 50 cm. Very small drones can further be bifurcated into two types of drones: Nano or Micro Drones and Mini Drones. The nano drones are basically devices that are inspired from the shapes and sizes of insects. They come with very small sized rotary or flapping wings.
This is a design that has been able to gain plenty of traction in the Micro Drones section. Since they boast a very small size indeed and are extremely light in weight, they can prove to be seriously lethal weapons for perpetrating biological attacks and surveillance activities. The users can opt between motorized rotors and winds as per one’s usage. The very small drone types can be a handful in landing and can also be squeezed into quite cramped spaces without too much of a hassle.
2 – Mini Drones
Mini Drones are the devices that are slightly larger in size than micro drones. One of their sides, at least, can be larger than 50 cm while their overall dimensions cannot be larger than 2 m. Most of the devices falling in these types of drones have fixed wings. However, there are number of mini drone designs that come loaded with rotary wings.
Since, these machines boast a very small size and do not provide a humongous amount of power, these drones have to be first launched into the air and then set into flight.
3 – Medium Drones
These are devices that are quite larger in size and much heavier in weight as compared to their smaller counterparts. They, however, are still considerably smaller than light aircrafts. Since they are of slightly larger sizes and are much bulkier, they cannot be ported by an individual from one place to another. They are considerably bigger in size with a general wingspan of 5 to 10 meters and can carry a payload of up to 200 Kg. They generally follow the fixed wing model. Here are a couple of examples of these types of drones:
- UK Watchkeeper
- Israeli-US Hunter
Having said that, medium drones are also being developed with motorized rotors.
4 – Large Drones
These machines are essentially of the same size as small aircrafts. They can be mostly found in military installments. They are mostly used in highly sensitive and volatile military combat scenarios where sending a human pilot to carry out a certain mission could prove to be extremely dangerous. They can be effectively used for spying in no-go areas.
When it comes to general public, drones can also be classified based on other criteria. They can be categorized based on their performance. Each drone offers a different control range and comes with disparate flying capabilities in varying weather conditions. We can, hence, classify drones into a number of drone types.
This method is preferred by the US Armed Forces for classifying drones. Based on this approach, drones can be classified into the following types:
1 – Very Close Range Drones
These devices are actually used as toy drones by the users. They provide a control range of about 5 Km while their flight time ranges between 20 to 45 minutes. The Dragon Eye and the Raven are two examples of these types of drones. They are designed keeping in mind the design of actual aircrafts.
2 – Close Range Drones
These machines offer better flight duration and control range. They boast a control range of about 50 Km on average. They include very powerful batteries that can provide flight time of 1 to 6 hours. Since they offer high values in terms of control range and flight time, they are used by militaries all over the world to conduct reconnaissance missions.
3 – Short Range Drones
These types of drones are more powerful and rich in features as opposed to close range drones and are used by military for a number of purposes. They provide a control range of about 150 Km which is about 100 Km more than that provided by close range drones. They also offer a flight time of approximately 8 to 12 hours that is almost two times that of close range devices. Despite the fact that they are far more sophisticated machines than close range drones, they also are used by military to carry out spying and surveillance missions.
4 – Mid Range Drones
These devices are superior to all the other types of drones discussed hitherto. They boast incredibly high speeds and offer an unbelievable control range of 650 Km. They are also being used for spying but in addition, have a number of important tasks assigned to them. These are the drone types that collate meteorological and weather related data since they are aided by their large control range and high flight duration.
5 – Endurance Drones
These are the top-of-the-line devices and probably the best ones made by made ever. They offer a maximum time of flight of about 36 hours and can reach an altitude of about 30,000 feet above sea-level with mind-boggling ease. They are also being used by militaries across the globe to carry out very dangerous, intricate and highly sophisticated spying operations.