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Aerial reconnaissance and surveillance have been in existence since the Wright Brothers began tinkering with flying machines in the early 1900s. While surveillance and reconnaissance seem like similar words, they, in fact, have different connotations. Reconnaissance is defined as the inspection, observation, or examination of a region to gain information for military, law enforcement, engineering, geological, or other purposes. Typically, reconnaissance refers to a preliminary survey of an area and is the term most often used to describe a military operation during which soldiers explore beyond an area occupied by friendly forces to gain vital information on enemy positions or to survey an unknown area of land before taking military action. Surveillance, on the other hand, refers to the close observation of a particular ...

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