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.

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.