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Drone sensing volumes

Jackman, A. ORCID: (2023) Drone sensing volumes. The Geographical Journal, 189 (3). pp. 501-513. ISSN 1475-4959

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/geoj.12517


We are in the midst of a global turn to the drone. Following their establishment as icons of contemporary warfare, drones are increasingly deployed in a range of more-than-military applications. Interrogating this diverse ecosystem of platforms, scholars have examined the ways in which drones see, sense and manoeuvre, asserting that they enable distinct perspectives and the rendering visible of expanded and extended sensory terrains. In parallel, scholars from across and beyond the social sciences are increasingly mobilising the concept of volume to (re)consider conceptions of space in three, rather than two-dimensional terms, with complex heights and depths. Thinking at the intersection of these discussions has explored drones as at once acting in, enacting, capturing and comprising volume. This paper extends these discussions by foregrounding drone sensing volumes and the diverse visualities, practices and relations they compose and comprise. Through the lens of drone sensing volumes in the context of emergency – and specifically through the snapshot example of sensing for signs of death following a homicide – the paper understands the sensor-laden drone as a volumetric project both demonstrative of diverse sensing sensibilities and prompting a thinking otherwise of volume. While existing scholarship importantly attends to the conflict, control and calculative dimensions of volume, this paper mobilises the snapshot of drone sensing as an invitation for further attention to diverse forms of techno-instrumentalisation, and the accommodation of more diverse drone sensing sensibilities that seek to resolve, rather than to perpetrate, volumetric violence.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:111829
Uncontrolled Keywords:Drones; UAV; Sensing; Volume; Death; Homicide


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