The security sector makes no exception to the adoption of increasingly sophisticated technological systems, among which the professional drone figures prominently.
Agile, capable of operating in many environments and offering a 360° aerial view in real time, its multiple assets make the surveillance drone an indispensable component to any security plan.
Developing a risk management plan to secure a strategic site or an event generally involves combining different means, in human security and electronic equipment; including the inevitable triad of access control, video surveillance and intrusion detection devices.
But due to its remarkable observation and mobility possibilities, constantly improved by the latest technological advances, the surveillance drone foreshadows the evolution of new uses for “tomorrow security”. Its multiple applications and its operational added value make it a decisive air asset in complex or high-stakes situations, whether in the field of public or private security.
The advantages of using a drone for security?
Collecting accurate information is crucial to assess risk situations and adapt the response to threats.
Thanks to its ability to “provide the right information at the right time and in the right place”, the surveillance drone is a determining factor in permanent security contexts (industrial sites, construction sites, warehouses) or occasionally during major outdoor events (concerts, sporting events, outdoor fairs, etc.).
Its main strengths include:
- Zenithal and panoramic aerial observation, not comparable to conventional video surveillance
- Image quality and accuracy, via on-board optical and thermal cameras
- Speed of deployment and intervention, to fly over the different areas required
- Real-time transmission of images to a security centre or remote video surveillance unit
- Possible integration into a global security system, via a VMS (video management system) for centralised information.
Thus, beyond the technical characteristics, the performance of a drone security system is based on its operational functionalities, the software intelligence developed and its ability to be adopted by professionals.
By allowing to limit the risks, to anticipate the threats and to react at an early stage, the professional drone represents valuable support for the security officer in the exercise of his mission.
In which cases can drone provide security and increase safety?
Capable of carrying out automated rounds or being rapidly deployed for one-off security missions, the surveillance drones, like the ISS SPOTTER® solutions, are proving to be very useful to:
- Ensure the general surveillance of a site, on a permanent basis through scheduled patrols
- Secure a public space during a large-scale sporting event or concert
- Detect incidents to react quickly
- Prevent hazards, such as unwanted intrusion on a sensitive site, nuclear or petrochemical plant
- Spot suspicious behaviour at a crowded outdoor event
- Move quickly on demand to remote areas
- Locate persons who are wanted or in danger, including in inaccessible areas
- Facilitate the coordination of teams deployed in the field, such as public forces or emergency services in crisis management situations.
The professional drone is therefore very well suited to public safety and civil security uses; it also meets needs of private security sector, such as the surveillance of industrial sites or the monitoring of outdoor events. It can therefore be integrated into services of private security companies, to reinforce the overall risk management plan and cooperate closely with the teams of security officers.
How does the drone complement human security?
Far from replacing agents and human intervention, the surveillance drone is in fact the perfect ally of the teams in charge of security.
Ensuring the protection of property and people at all times, it also saves time in the remote assessment of an incident and facilitates the officer’s decision making, without exposing him or her to the threat.
Thanks to the drone, the agent benefits from mobile and optimal observation, day and night, by permanent and stabilised video return; the video stream being accessible in real time from his security centre or a computer. Viewing a vehicle from several kilometres away, zooming on a given point to pinpoint the threat, or even approach it to within a few metres without compromising his own safety, are key possibilities.
It is therefore a question of combining human and technological resources in the service of safety and operational efficiency.
This active collaboration between agent and machine is consequently a source of organisational and economic optimisation for operators, for security managers of industrial or sensitive sites, and for event security coordinators.
The use of surveillance drones is also an opportunity for the security sector: currently experiencing a shortage of professionals, it can become more attractive by offering the acquisition of new skills that are unavoidable with the use of increasingly sophisticated and connected technological equipment.
What drone security solutions are available?
Positioned in the field of civil drones for professional use, Tonner Drones offers a unique range of solutions with ISS SPOTTER® systems: dedicated to surveillance and security, they enable to react more quickly to the unexpected.
This patented and innovative offer is a breakthrough technology compared to existing means, acting like a “cyber agent” and supporting the action of security officers on the field:
- Easily deployed for temporary surveillance needs, the ISS SPOTTER® tethered drone solution provides continuous and remotely controlled observation, particularly adapted to outdoor events.
- The automatic ISS SPOTTER® solution simplifies and improves inspection, control, and surveillance for complex environments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Thanks to its modular operating modes, the drone ensures planned rounds, rapid assessment of suspicions in areas designated by the security officer or automatically on the triggering of an alarm.
Depending on the context and the evaluation of your needs, the automatic drone, the tethered drone, or both can be used to reinforce the security and safety plan, in order to protect property and people, in addition to human means.
What are the regulations for security drones?
The use of professional drones for safety and security purposes is strictly regulated; several obligations for pilots and operators are required, depending on the weight and flight scenarios of the aircraft.
The use of unmanned aircraft is subject to various regulations issued by the relevant national aeronautical authorities in the field of airspace safety; in France, these relate to:
- The obligation to register the device with the authorities (if it weighs > 250 grams and is equipped with cameras)
- The training required to fly a drone
- The compliance with maximum authorised flight areas and heights (certain sensitive or protected areas are subject to restrictions)
- The identification of the drone by an electronic reporting device
- The compliance with privacy regulations.
Other rules apply to professional UAVs and specific activities such as aerial photography:
- A theoretical and practical professional pilot certificate is required in France by the Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC)
- Need to declare flights (in France on the AlphaTango platform) and obtain authorisations according to the areas overflown (prohibited areas, proximity of airports, etc.) and the flight conditions (at night, for example)
- A safety equipment is required on the machine (parachute in populated areas).
It should be noted that the legal framework is constantly evolving, with the gradual application of European regulations that will be fully implemented in 2026; these strengthen the requirements for the operation of systems, with a classification according to the weight and degree of risk of the device.