An RPA will usually have photographic surveillance or photographic image or video image capture capability including infrared; this is called payload. These types of vehicles have historically been used in military applications for missions that are too dangerous for manned aircraft. This technology is now available to the civilian market.
Uses of civil RPAs include:
- Aerial photography – still & motion; low level filming; media link transmission; real estate photography; architectural building & infrastructure progress assessing.
- Aerial surveying – Geo/Magno/Spectro/Seismic; Geochemical/Sampling; environmental studies; pipeline inspection; power line inspection; power pole inspection; mine site monitoring, property survey.
- Agriculture (crop survey, seeding).
- Police, Fire & Emergency Services surveillance & management.
- Life saving & shark monitoring activities.
- Dropping – Rescue equipment.
- Pollution monitoring.
- Event security.
- Scientific research.