The Drone Technician for Environmental Management is dedicated to the design, construction, and operation of drones, with the purpose of using them in the environment for various objectives, such as protection. For this, this professional must have knowledge of electronics, telecommunications, and computer science and understand that depending on the specific objective for which the drone is going to be used, it will need to have different characteristics. For some tasks, it will be important for them to have good autonomy, while for others, the most important thing may be the quality of the images and videos it records, or that they are capable of carrying a hydraulic system to put out a fire, for example.
It is estimated that the commercial drone market currently has a size close to 2,500 billion dollars and the European Commission estimates that it will reach 10 billion globally by 2035, only in Europe. In Spain, the number of operators in 2014 was only 54, and currently there are almost 42,000, showing that it is a technology that is clearly growing and will be developed in many sectors and with different functionalities. In the case of the environment, one of the biggest problems and one of the main causes of the greenhouse effect is deforestation. To combat it, many companies are starting to use drones. One of them is Droneseed, an American startup that has developed a drone that uses high precision cameras and powerful Artificial Intelligence software, both for forest monitoring and seed planting. According to the company itself, their devices allow costs to be reduced to a tenth. Since 2015, this company has received over 5 million dollars in private funding. In Spain, a team from CSIC has developed a new methodology to measure parameters such as almond tree architecture and flowering through drones and automated image analysis software.
During the last centuries, the exponential increase in energy demand caused by population growth and technological development has resulted in negative consequences for the environment. In the face of such a situation, having accurate and reliable information about the real state of our planet becomes vital. Drones are especially useful for this monitoring task. They are unmanned aerial vehicles controlled remotely, and to ascend, they use the rotational force of their propellers. They allow data to be obtained about isolated environments from civilization, to which physical access can be very costly. They also allow aerial images to be obtained that, through Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, can be processed to extract useful information. Drones are already being used, for example, for fire detection or to monitor the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
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