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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are playing increasingly important roles on the battlefield and in our everyday lives. In military missions, they perform intelligence gathering, surveillance, and reconnaissance. In the civilian arena, UAVs provide climate monitoring , ; pipeline inspection ; farm management , and pollution monitoring . Some enterprising realtors have even used them for virtual home tours ! Recent legislation will further promote the civilian use of UAVs by requiring the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to open the skies to UAV use in a variety of commercial applications. While the international community has not come to a consensus on permissible civilian UAV use, the European Union has a number of ongoing initiatives to mirror the FAA's actions .
Date of Publication: Oct. 2012