China’s drones - technology of the future

Drones are UAVs, so unmanned aerial vehicles made of light, composite materials such as carbon fibre or light metal and plastic. They can be controlled from the ground by remote control system. This advanced technology is helpful in monitoring climate changes, counting animal populations, taking pictures, fighting with natural disasters or delivering goods. Moreover drones are also used for surveillance or training purposes and as a weapon by the military. Due to all this functions their importance has increased, making them fascinating and dangerous in the same time.

First drones were produced during the First World War by the US Army and after that also by the British engineers. Later they were developed and used in Vietnam War, but despite this early American history, China is now becoming a leader in shaping industry trends and exporting their products all over the world.

The United States is a member of Missile Technology Control Regime, so an informal arrangement between 35 countries, which does not let them to export big UAVs in order to prevent military actions, but China is not. Moreover chinese drones are much cheaper than the American ones and the buyers are not obligated to use it for a certain purpose, whereas according to the USA law there are some restrictions. That is why this Asian country can easily sell technology and constantly expand its market share.

Chinese company DJI established in 2006 by Frank Wang is today one of the most famous drone manufacturer in the industry. They produce approximately 70% of civil drones offered on the market. Another well-known chinese company is AVIC, this brand is working on secret military technology connected with electrically-driven pilotless, spotter planes. They are invented to be capable of many operations such as undercover and civilian missions, border patrols, anti-smuggling, security activities and anti-terrorism.

China is a pioneer in surveillance. Being known for biometric systems to identify metro commuters, facial recognition at large events or smart glasses worn by police for identifying potential suspects, they are currently testing Dove look like drones. It is a milestone in biomimetic design UAVs. These drones fly like an actual birds and can simulate about 90% of a real dove’s movement. What is more it can not be detected even by advanced radar systems. Even though Doves are small and light, they are equipped with an advanced, HD camera, GPS antenna, flight control system and data link that has satellite communication capability. It is possible to meet the demand for UAVs in the military and civilian sectors due to its unique advantages.

Chinese drones are not only taking over commercial drone market but also developing military technologies in the UAVs field. Companies based in China are constantly increasing their extent to become the innovative drone leader. That can lead to improvements in the preservation of environments, protection of civilians, beautiful photos and shoots, but in addition can cause some escalation of surveillance and citizen control.