What is drone surveillance?

What is drone surveillance?

Drone surveillance is the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to capture still images and video from a distance or at a high altitude to gather information about specific targets, which may be individuals, groups, or the environment.

Drones' small size, ability to fly, and withstand harsh environments mean they can often survey objects that may be out of reach and can get a first-person view that photographers don't usually get. Nowadays, security drones equipped with live video cameras, infrared cameras, thermal sensors, and radar are used in large numbers by law enforcement.

Security drone

Benefits of drones surveillance

Benefits of drone surveillance

Drones are changing the way law enforcement agencies respond to incidents and maintain public safety. There are many benefits that drones will provide for surveillance and security operations:

Rapid response

Emergencies require immediate action because every minute can be a difference between life and death. However, traditional observational surveillance methods by humans on foot or land vehicles are a long and time-consuming process. With security drones, the process is much more effective. A drone for surveillance can perform perimeter patrols 30 times faster than a manned patrol, so it provides feedback in a few minutes.

Improved visual capacities

Drones can fly from a high altitude that allows offering a wide aerial viewpoint without blind spots. With high-quality sensors and HD cameras, drones can detect anomalies or events in low light conditions and from meters away.

Safe missions

By using remotely controlled drones, you can help reduce the risk to security staff as pilots will be a safe distance away. In the event of a suspect apprehension or disaster outbreak, it is best to send a drone to see the situation first and investigate potential risks before humans get inside.

Saving costs & increased ROI

While the initial investment in drone technology will be expensive, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial cost in terms of return on investment. The cost of a security drone is only 20% of the cost of helicopter patrol and 40% of the cost of foot patrol.

Drone surveillance saves cost

The primary use of drones in the surveillance and security industry is to conduct regular day and night patrols of sensitive sites. This process is time-consuming and labor-intensive, and the longer the time and labor required to complete a task, the more expensive it is for the company. With the use of drones, the guarding activities can be completed in a very short period of time, while saving on manpower and fixed camera costs.

How are drones used for surveillance?

How are drones used for surveillance?

Traffic management

Drones outfitted with HD cameras observe vehicles on the road. Once they find illegal parking, emergency lanes occupation, unsafe lane changes, or other illegal behavior, the drones will capture evidence and fix these violations.

Besides, drones with speakers are being used by police to warn offending vehicles to stop or evacuate vehicles to leave the accident scene in an orderly manner, which improves traffic management and ensures smooth roads.

Drone for traffic management

Perimeter guarding

Drones have been widely used in the aftermath of rockfalls, forest fires, and earthquakes. With continuous 2D and 3D data collected by drones, we can assess building damage in hard-to-reach areas, plan evacuation routes, look for survivors, and evaluate erosion and flooding.

Disaster management

Drones have been widely used to assist emergency response services with situational awareness in the aftermath of rockfalls, forest fires, and earthquakes. With continuous 2D and 3D data collected by drones, we can assess building damage in hard-to-reach areas, plan evacuation routes, look for survivors, and evaluate erosion and flooding.

Disaster management via drone

Environment protection

Drones for environmental monitoring can do a lot to help save wildlife and the planet. Drones can easily monitor the health of forests and wildlife, which means less impact on the area because no one has to make the trek. They can also map around surface water, outfalls, etc., and obtain data on-demand to facilitate resource management and compliance monitoring over a wide area.

Border patrol

Drones are an important asset for border security because they can perform real-time reconnaissance, acquire targets, and track personnel movements and illegal activities through high-quality video feeds. Compared to fixed video cameras, drones fitted with thermal detection cameras are better at tracking irregular activities, such as illegal border crossing attempts through dense forests or mountainous terrain.

Event surveillance

Drone surveillance is an ideal choice when it comes to large events such as concerts, political rallies, and marathons. They can be deployed very quickly and provide you with the overview to prevent illegal activity and protect attendees.

Event surveillance


Drone technology is also helpful for law enforcement. If drones capture the actions of criminals, they can be used as evidence in the right circumstances, or in the case of an escaped criminal, these high-quality images can help identify the criminal.


Anti-poaching drones are making a big impact in the saving of Rhinos, Elephants, Tigers, Gorillas, and other critically endangered species. Using a variety of gimbals, drones can easily detect the heating signatures of wildlife or people at night, identify the existence of guns, determine their location, and inform the ranger's anti-poaching procedures.

What is the best drone for security and surveillance?

What is the best drone for security and surveillance?

According to the different needs of users, JOUAV offers the most trustworthy and suitable security and surveillance drones that can carry various payloads and have different endurance. Whether you are faced with large surveillance areas, difficult or steep terrain, huge altitude differences, adverse weather conditions, or no flat surface required for takeoff and landing, JOUAV security drones can overcome all of these challenges.

Take off and land vertically (VTOL)

JOUAV drones combine the advantages of helicopters and fixed wings. They can take off and land in confined areas like rooftops of buildings, mountain tops, jungles, moving vehicles, ships, etc. The VTOL drone can hover above the subject, yet are capable of flying for a much longer time.

CW-25E VTOL drone for drone security

Fully automated drones for surveillance

From taking off and landing to carrying out aerial site inspections and surveillance, JOUAV drones complete tasks and make decisions on their own with a simple click of a button on the web-based dashboard. These drones are also integrated with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to identify the target based on its image characteristics or target coordinates, automatically track it, and offer HD live streaming.

Monitoring large areas efficiently

JOUAV UAVs do tedious and repetitive tasks of monitoring large areas very efficiently and rapidly. With ranges of 30km, 50km, 100km, and 200km, drones can be controlled and maintain a radio/video link over very large distances. The drones have long endurance of up to 12 hours from 60km/h to 140 km/h. JOUAV UAVs have a patrol range of 30 to 100 km and can usually cover the target area in one flight, which is super time and energy efficient.

JOUAV security drone monitors large areas efficiently

Available 24 hours a day and in all weather

JOUAV drones equipped with visible and infrared thermal gimbal cameras are designed to perfectly fulfill remote monitoring missions for a whole day. The 30x zoom visible light camera enables you to see objects in detail over a distance and the 640*512 infrared camera can record videos in low light or completely dark conditions.

Moreover, JOUAV surveillance drones are built to withstand the toughest of environments, whether it's flying at high altitudes (6500m), in severe cold, windy conditions, or wet weather.

Transmission delay for real-time streaming is less than 300ms

With a low latency of merely 300 ms, JOUAV drones transmit 1080P HD real-time video, data of the aircraft and its surrounding environment to the ground station through a dedicated communication link. The ground control terminal receives the images and shares the data with other terminals through 4G/5G routers, or it can push the video stream to the cloud server through the network cable.

As a result, other mobile terminals can watch the video in real-time by accessing the link. The command center can watch the real-time video by accessing this link, or it can form a local area network by building a dedicated fiber optic network to directly receive data shared by the control terminal.

Real drone applications in security and surveillance

Real drone applications in security and surveillance

How have surveillance drones actually been successfully used by law enforcement? Do police actually experience higher data quality and accuracy compared to traditional surveillance, while cutting time and costs? See how surveillance operators have successfully used JOUAV surveillance drones in real applications.

Helping police in Guangzhou fight smuggling

Guangzhou Public Security Bureau previously sent hundreds of policemen for anti-smuggling. However, surveillance either by foot or by vehicle was a tedious and long process. And human vision is very limited and smugglers can easily escape, especially at night. Thanks to JOUAV's CW-15 and CW-25E equipped with 30x gimbal cameras, the Public Security Bureau now only needs a small team of policemen to watch the real-time surveillance video and stand by to arrest suspects. They now save 90% of the labor and time than before.

"With JOUAV drones, the entire sea area could be covered in a single detailed flight with no blind spots. This whole process took only ten minutes", said Andy Young, one of the police officers in this operation", "JOUAV drones are able to record clear video at night, so nothing can escape our eyes."

JOUAV security drones help Guangzhou police fight smuggling

Fighting forest fires in Sichuan province

On February 16, 2022, a forest fire ripped through a small village in the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Region of Sichuan, China, destroying 76 hectares of forest and covering 171.5 hectares of fire. JOUAV dispatched the CW-15D to fly through the smoky valley and capture real-time video of the fire and transmit it to the fire command center. With up-to-date visuals, fire teams charted the damage and planned the next steps.

"The CW-15D can help us decide the type and amount of resources to send to a forest fire scene in minutes. The drone is also equipped with a heat sensor that uses infrared radiation to help first responders locate human heat signatures and fire hot spots, showing where fires are most likely to spread and keeping firefighters safe," said David Lee, one of the commanders of this firefighting mission said.

JOUAV security drones help Sichuan fight forest fires

Poyang lake patrol

Poyang Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Jiangxi province, China, located in southeastern China. In order to protect the ecological environment and the rich biological resources, the local government has implemented a ban on fishing. But Poyang Lake has a wide area and complex water conditions, which makes it very difficult to manage. The Jiangxi Public Security Department used the CW-30 UAV with a 50x zoom dual-light gimbal camera.

JOUAV security drones used for Poyang lake patrol

Jiangxi Province, deputy mayor Mike Wan said: "UAVs are like eagle eyes and can cover all blind spots at high altitude. CW-30 drone patrol can not only have a deterrent effect on illegal and criminal activities but also provide evidence for law enforcement teams."

For many utilities, power line inspections still take place on foot. This method of inspection is very time-consuming, given that there are over a million local distribution lines. Using the human eye to collect visual data can take 1 year or more, even with a team of hundreds of people working constantly and are prone to human error.

Best payload solutions for security and surveillance

Best payload solution for security and surveillance

MG-120 gimbal camera is a 3-axis lightweight and compact gimbal camera developed by JOUAV. The camera integrates a 30x optical light sensor and thermal imaging sensor, which not only has a very good long-range target observation capability but also has the ability to detect and observe targets at night. What's more, it can also automatically stabilize the visual axis to maintain a stable picture and help in the observation and detection of ground targets.

MG-120E gimbal camera for drone security

Best drone software for security and surveillance

Best drone software for security and surveillance

JOUAV Eagle Map is the best UAV monitoring software, which provides drone control functions, mission planning, flight monitoring, real-time video processing, and real-time gimbal control. It provides accurate target positioning, precise real-time video position data, and low-latency real-time video images.

Drone surveillance software - Eagle Map

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