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 LiDAR are used in large numbers by law enforcement.

What are the benefits of drone technology in security services?
Commercial drones are changing the way law enforcement agencies respond to incidents and maintain public safety. There are many advantages of drones in security:
Rapid response
Emergencies require immediate action because every minute can be a difference between life and death. 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
Surveillance UAVs 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.
What is the best surveillance drone for sale?
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 CW Series security drones can overcome all of these challenges.
Multi-purpose and battery-operated intelligent VTOL drone
Long Endurance Electric Fixed-wing VTOL Drone
Hybrid Gasoline & Battery Long Flight Time UAV
Why choose JOUAV surveillance drone?

Take off and land vertically (VTOL)

JOUAV surveillance drones combine the advantages of helicopters and fixed-wing drones. 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.


Monitoring large areas efficiently

JOUAV surveillance drones 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.

Up to 200km range drone

Built for outdoor security and surveillance missions, the JOUAV CW Series long-range drones have a control and video transmission range of 30 to 200 kilometers, beating out many high-end drones on the market.

Unlike most muti-rotor drones that have limited flight time, the JOUAV long-range surveillance drone can stay in the air for 55-840 minutes while carrying heavy loads, making it very suitable for large mine surveillance, highway inspection, border patrol, perimeter security, etc.


Fully autonomous drones for surveillance

From taking off and landing to carrying out aerial site inspections and surveillance, JOUAV autonomous security 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.

Available 24 hours a day and in all weather

Capable of carrying a payload from 1-25kg, these heavy lift drones can be equipped with visible and infrared thermal gimbal cameras, which 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.


Less than 300ms transmission latency for real-time streaming

With a low latency of merely 300 ms, the JOUAV drone security system transmits 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.

How does a drone surveillance work?

Typically, JOUAV CW Series drones are connected to the control system using datalinks and wireless links. JOUAV surveillance drones can be equipped with different monitoring tools, including high-resolution cameras, thermal sensors, GPS, and sensors to detect motion. These cameras may include object recognition and tracking technology, and here it is possible to identify individuals remotely from a distance without their knowledge.

These drones capture 1080P HD video footage and transmit them to the ground station in real time via the dedicated communication link. After receiving the videos, the ground control terminal shares the data with teammates and clients through a 4G/5G router or a network cable.

How does drone surveillance work?
Real drone applications in security and surveillance
How have surveillance UAVs 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.
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China, the largest producer of marine fisheries in the world, has a long coastline and a huge marine fishing fleet. China has always attached great importance to the conservation and sustainable use o
Guangdong Police Dept is increasingly using AI drones to monitor port areas and coastal areas. This involves not only surveillance to combat contraband smuggling, but also providing aerial assistance
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Best aerial surveillance camera

MG-120E 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.

Best gimbal camera for mining 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 eaglemap surveillance software
What types of drones are used in security?

There are many types of drones on the market and they are designed for different surveillance missions. If you want to find the right drone, you must understand the pros and cons of these surveillance drones.

Multi-rotor drones: Since they have the ability to hover in place, multi-rotor drones are usually easier to maneuver and are often used to check the detailed condition of assets. But multi-rotor drones can only be used in small areas, such as mines, construction sites, and chemical plants because they need much power to fly using propellers powered by motors.

Fixed-wing drones: Fixed-wing drones are often used to patrol larger areas such as coastlines, borders, highways, etc., as they can operate for long periods of time without recharging/refueling. Fixed-wing UAVs use the same lift generated by the wings as aircraft and therefore can save a lot of energy. However, fixed wings are not suitable for missions in mountainous areas, jungles, and offshore, as they require a flat runway of at least 100 meters for takeoff and landing.

Hybrid fixed-wing drone: Hybrid VTOL drones can be used for large areas with complex environments. As a combination of multi-rotor and fixed-wing drones, they can take off and land vertically anywhere and can hover in the air like a multi-rotor. Also, they have long flight times, fast cruise speeds, and incredible altitudes like fixed-wing drones.

fixed wing drone

Tethered drones: Tethered drones are typically quad-rotor or multi-rotor, that hover 100-200 meters away in the air while connected to ground power via a tethered cable. The HD video and other data collected by the onboard equipment can be transmitted back to the ground through this cable.

Disadvantages of drone technology in security services

Drone technology can be hacked. Most UAS interact with bases through unencrypted communication channels, making them vulnerable to h exploitation. Hackers can intercept and obtain sensitive data, such as pictures and videos, that drones communicate with bases. In addition, they can retrieve private information and maliciously destroy files.

Drones are highly affected by the weather. Flying in high winds makes the aircraft prone to deviate from the flight route, and makes it difficult to maintain a stable flight attitude. Besides, the drones' batteries are very sensitive to moisture making it impossible to fly in the rain.

Both the software and hardware of a drone can fail, especially when flown by an inexperienced pilot. Once there is an electronic equipment failure, it will be fatal to the UAV as well as the onboard equipment. Otherwise, when there is strong signal interference, it is easy to cause the receiver to lose contact with the ground workstation.

Drone laws are far from mature. These laws and habits use confusing language and are changed frequently, moreover not all the information you find online is news.

How drones are used for security?

Surveillance drone technology is always evolving and the future of drone technology in security services is very exciting, they are already being used for building surveillance and industrial site security.

Traffic management

Drones outfitted with HD cameras observe vehicles on the road. Once they find illegal parking, emergency lane 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.

Surveillance 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 surveillance 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, a thermal drone fitted with an infrared detection camera is 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 an overview to prevent illegal activity and protect attendees.

Surveillance drone for event monitoring


ISR Drones are a game-changer for law enforcement. They can capture criminals in action, providing solid evidence or helping identify escapees. And guess what? There's a buzz about silent drones or quiet drones. These nifty gadgets operate with reduced noise levels, flying under the radar without attracting unnecessary attention. So, law enforcement agencies can step up their surveillance game and get the job done more effectively.


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 thermal cameras, night vision 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.

Search and rescue

Rescue drones equipped with high-resolution cameras and thermal imaging sensors can quickly cover large areas, providing real-time video feeds to operators. This aerial perspective allows rescuers to search for missing persons or locate survivors in remote or inaccessible areas more efficiently.

Surveillance drone FAQ

Which surveillance drone is right for you?

Which surveillance drone you choose will depend on your needs. surveillance. As you may know, drones are not a one-size-fits-all investment. When choosing your first drone, you will have several options to choose from, including the size and location of your workplace, budget as well as battery life.

How do drones transmit video?

The photos taken by the drone camera are then sent to the transmitter, which encodes the video as a radio signal and encodes it as a sinusoidal function, which is transmitted over the air as an electromagnetic wave. The receiver detects the wave and converts it to video.

How high do surveillance drones fly?

According to the FAA, the maximum allowable altitude for commercial drones is 400 feet above the ground.

How long can a surveillance drone stay in the air?

The flight times of surveillance drones range from 45 minutes to over ten hours, depending on the type of drone and technology they use. Current technology using a hybrid battery/gas can last several hours.

How far can drones see at night?

Generally speaking, an average drone operating at 1080p can see up to 50 meters away at night, beyond that distance it can only see a blurred figure.

Are drones used for high-altitude surveillance?

Yes, there are many high-altitude surveillance drones in the market. The highest altitude a drone can fly is 10 km (33,000 ft).

Can police use drones for surveillance?

Yes, law enforcement agencies are already using security drones for a range of observation missions, such as scouting key areas or suspects, gaining critical situational awareness to help deploy ground personnel in risky chaotic situations, and monitoring crowd behavior and movement. Police drones also allow officers to investigate armed terrorists while maintaining a safe distance.

Is drone surveillance legal?

This may or may not be legal depending on where you live. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), flying a drone in an irresponsible way is illegal. So if your drone patrol activity violates FAA law, it is not allowed.

How much does drone surveillance cost?

It is absolutely worth investing in a surveillance drone if you need 24-hour security for your property. The average package price for a surveillance drone ranges from $2,000 to $270,000.

Can drones be used for spying?

Yes, but only for the police. Drones are often used by law enforcement to track down suspects and terrorists using aerial bird watch views.

How do detect surveillance drones?

Whether the drones use RF or WiFi communication, they can be identified with radar detectors.

How to spot a drone at night?

To spot a drone at night, you can listen for the sound of propellers, look for red and green navigation lights in the sky, or use radar equipment to detect the presence of a drone.

What to do if a drone is watching you?

If you find a drone spying on you, you should call the police or report it to the FAA.

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