Tethered drones play an important part in air, land, and specifically water operations, allowing data and power to be transferred securely through a physical connection. For these two reasons tethered drones have continued to increase in popularity for specific use cases.
The history of tethered operations
Tethered drones were thought of as the need for persistent aerial based monitoring and surveillance increased. Tethered drones often use the tether not only to ensure they stay stationary but to transmit data through a secure link as well as power, allowing drones in the air and water to be operational indefinitely.
Tethered operations in Australia: use cases (air, land, water)
When it comes to tethered operations in the air, a number of the rules that apply to drones no longer apply as there is a physical connection between the drone and the ground. This often gives tethered drones the advantage when it comes to flying in airspace and near people, with the following being popular use cases:
- Tethered Traffic Monitoring
- Crowd Monitoring
- Tethered Perimeter Monitoring
- Persistent Emergency Overwatch
- Tethered Border Surveillance
- Aerial Event Protection
- Persistent Aerial Camera
Looking at water-based drones, tethers are almost always required due to the water blocking wireless signals, ease of retrieval if there was to be an issue during an operation, and removing the heavy battery from the drone itself, allowing for increased payload capacity. Use cases include the following:
- Water-based Biosecurity
- Water-based Search and Rescue
- Hull Inspections
- Port Inspections
- Anode Inspection
- Tank Inspection
The future of tethered operations
Tethered operations will always have their place when it comes to drone operations in the air, on the ground, or underwater. The use of tethers will never go away as they continue to bring a number of different advantages over non-tethered drones, at the same time they are very use case specific due to being tethered.