TOOLS: Aerial Reconnaissance With Drones


  • Posted on: MARCH 10, 2014 

Technology can be your friend. If the Government is using drones for aerial reconnaissance, why wouldn’t we embrace technology to do the same thing? 

Performing Aerial Reconnaissance with Drones may not make sense in every situation. If you have no means to recharge the batteries then you probably won’t have a long term use for a drone, but what if you used that last fully charged battery, and it made all the difference? What good is a drone? Today’s consumer Drones can fly up to 1000 feet high and some can travel more than a kilometer away. Imagine how much intelligence you can gather using one of these tools. Imagine how you can turn the advantage in your favor just by having that eye in the sky, in so many situations. Let’s take this technology and use it for our advantage!

Why would you want a Drone to perform Aerial Reconnaissance?

  • Scouting terrain
  • Watching personnel movements (enemy, dangerous people, refugees, looters, allies, etc)
  • Watching approaching weather
  • Scouting areas that may not be stable enough to walk on, without risk
  • Checking for large hunt-able animals, like deer

I’m sure you can think of so many others. When I discuss these Drones, there are 2 entry level models that stand out in my mind.

AR Drone: Works with your iPhone, iPad or Android Device. It is controlled directly from these devices via wifi and streams the video directly to that phone or table. Receives 720p high-definition live video streaming to smartphone or tablet while flying. This is all you need to fly and do recon. The AR Drone is subject to wifi interference from neighboring wifeless networks and is not as fast or powerful as the DJI Phantom. Made mostly of foam with electronics embedded inside.

AR Drone Prepper Central

DJI Phantom: The Phantom uses a dedicated 2.4GHz remote and does not have an onboard camera. You must buy a camera, like a GoPro Hero, and use that. If you want to stream the video from the GoPro Hero, to a receiver, you’ll need a FPV (First Person View Kit, that runs on 5.8GHz). The good news is that the GoPro Hero is a very awesome camera and you can use it for so much more than just the drone. This drone is made of strong plastic and can take a beating. I once crashed it into the ground with the blades still spinning full speed. I was freaked out, but the blades were fine and they had carved up the earth quite well. Your milage may vary, if you crash yours.

DJI Phantom Prepper Central


At some point in the last few years I have owned both of these drones. I used the AR Drone, with much joy for quite some time, but found that I wanted a more serious platform that I could take to the next level. When I realized that I wanted a more hobbyist grade platform, I upgraded to the DJI Phantom, and the GoPro Hero setup. Later I added the FPV kit, which has really taken it to the next level. I can fly farther, higher and longer with the DJI Phantom, and I can do cool things like checking my roof for damage, without a ladder. I also realized I could get my neighbors to pay me $50 to check their roofs and provide them with a digital video of it (I could do this with the AR Drone if I modded the front camera to point downward a bit instead of just pointing straight ahead).

Scenarios where it would pay off, to use the last charged battery for your drone

Here are some scenarios where doing some Aerial Reconnaissance with Drones would be beneficial:

Scenario #1: There has been much unrest in your area and you want to make sure that your path is clear before vacating your current position.


Scenario #2: You need to find some water now and can’t afford to waste time trekking in the wrong direction.


Today I brought out the “Geek” in GeekPrepper. If you had the means to recharge the battery packs for the drones, like a simple solar setup , I could see the long term benefits of Aerial Reconnaissance with Drones. If you don’t have a way to recharge the batteries, a drone could make one last flight that may be a life saver!

Read more at: Geek Prepper

Read the rest of this article and find other worthy stories by visiting

*Fair Use Statement*
The content of this post/pages/video may contain copyrighted ( © ) material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of ecological, political, human rights, economic, democratic, freedom, liberty, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. It is believed that this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior general interest in receiving similar information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you are a copyright owner who would like your material removed or credited, please contact us at the CONTACT link above.

Updated: March 10, 2014 — 7:01 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 20th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural Missouri, just a few miles from the Big Muddy. Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.