The U.S. military has used UAVs for surveillance and for actual military operations. In 2009, a UAV-controlled missile was successful in neutralizing a Taliban leader.
Future plans of the U.S. Air Force include using UAVs and robots in ground assaults or in beach assault situations. UAVs can also perform military tasks like acquiring targets and rescuing soldiers from dangerous situations. Other uses include collecting data from sensors for use in making digital maps, dropping supplies extremely dangerous territory, and assisting with cyberwarfare attacks. Military UAVs are also known as the ‘flying eye’ because they are designed as surveillance system equipped with sensors and computerized components. The flying eye is deployed in the air to conduct surveillance, take pictures and collect information valuable for military or civilian purposes. When the UAV is in the air, it is programmed to fly for a predetermined flight path until it reaches back to the ground or base.
Popularity and applications of UAVs UAVs were first popular with the military because they offer greater flexibility and are more advantageous in dangerous environments than manned aircraft. When it comes to technology, UAVs are effective with the newest technology, such as sensors, microprocessors, and propulsion systems, which can endure and are more effective than human pilots. In the military perspective, UAVs have proved effective in military missions and have also been proven successful in dangerous and contaminated environments where it is very dangerous for human-driven aircraft. (Nonami et al. 2010, p. 3) Complicated UAVs designed for military use are expensive and difficult to operate in crowded places. Designers have devised inexpensive UAVs and make it smaller and easy to operate. Micro air vehicles were built lightweight, with a wingspan of just about 15 cm. and weights about half a kilogram. MAVs can perform military tasks what larger ones cannot do. They can fly to close terrain or at dense forest environment, and collect data without being detected. MAVs can also be used for atmospheric studies without influencing airflows. MAVs can also perform surveillance missions for the military as they are built like stealth aircraft. (Langelaan & Roy 2009, p. 1642) Japan has the largest number of registered UAVs, particularly unmanned helicopters used in agriculture. In 2002, it exceeded other countries, such as Australia, West Europe and USA, in the number UAVs registered for civil and military use. The low risk and greater success in missions are major motivators for the use of UAVs in military and civil operations. It has been predicted that in the U.S., market for UAV will reach $16 billion, next is Europe which is currently spending approximately $3 billion. In Europe, this has increased slowly. (Nonami et al. 2010, p. 4) UAV components and designs Major components of a UAV include a microcontroller system, a compass, GPS, servo-controlled mechanism, and cameras or sensors. These components vary per different manufacturing specifications. More sophisticated UAVs are created by different manufacturers depending on the purpose for which they are made. There are various AUV designs which are made relative to their purpose; manufacturers provide designs for military surveillance and operations, for civil use and for hobbyists. More designs have been introduced for civil and military purposes. The industry is even made more competitive and vibrant as smaller firms have