Airplanes and helicopters are among the many tools that drone operators can use to gather aerial surveillance data for the military.
It can help them locate a potential enemy, determine a target’s location, track a vehicle’s movements and even spot an incoming bomb.
And the more accurate the images the better.
The FAA is now taking a similar approach.
In a recent announcement, the FAA said it is expanding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to include operations that involve the use, maintenance and repair of aircraft.
To be sure, the military is still the biggest buyer of aerial surveillance.
The Air Force alone has spent more than $5.5 billion on drone missions since 2007.
But the Pentagon has said that, as the industry has grown, it has been unable to maintain the same level of accuracy in drone operations.
For the FAA, that is partly because drones have to be able to detect and track aircraft on the ground.
In the past, the agency has limited the amount of information that drones can gather in order to prevent them from accidentally damaging aircraft.
But in recent years, the government has taken a more active role in monitoring drone operations and training drones for their capabilities.
As a result, the number of commercial drone flights has exploded.
In March, the Air Force awarded a $500,000 contract to a company called Aerial Systems Inc., based in Phoenix.
That company plans to operate four drones that are capable of delivering a payload of 4,500 pounds of cargo to a fixed point within 20 miles.
At the moment, the company is using its drones to deliver food and medical supplies to remote military bases.
But its ambitions are also to become a tool for the Pentagon’s wider surveillance programs.
The company says it hopes to be the “first to operate in areas that are out of range of GPS,” or satellite-based communications, for surveillance and control of drones.
That could allow the Pentagon to monitor movements of enemy forces, and track the movements of U.S. forces during combat.
The FAA’s announcement came just a day after the Air National Guard reported receiving a drone with a payload capable of carrying a payload weighing up to 16,000 pounds.
That drone was flown in a military training exercise that involved military personnel flying it for a period of two hours, according to the Guard.