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The Xindi utilized this form of technology during the 22nd century. Degra prepared to launch one to analyze the proving ground site after the failure of their Xindi weapon prototype in 2153, but was attacked by Enterprise NX-01 before he could begin the launch. (ENT: "Stratagem")
In the mid-2270s, the Federation maintained sensor drones along the Federation-Klingon border. A sensor drone intercepted a transmission from the IKS Amar on Quad L-14. At the time of interception, the Amar was in battle with V'ger. The transmission, translated into English from the Klingon language, was displayed in a printout on a viewer in the monitor room of Epsilon IX station. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
In 2364, during the neural parasite invasion, Starbase 045 was ordered by Commodore Anna Dixon to cease its monitoring of a sector. Remote sensor drones would be substituted for this outpost. Data acquired by these drones would be transmitted directly to Tactical Analysis Division. (TNG: "Conspiracy", okudagram)
In 2364, during the neural parasite invasion, the starships USS Non Sequitur, USS Tranquility Base, and USS Max Plank all received orders from Commodore Joshua Jae of Starfleet Mission Operations Division to modify their defensive coverage of the Romulan Neutral Zone by pulling sensor drones from active duty in some sectors and to increase drone surveillance in others. The USS Minnow also received orders concerning drone deployment during that year. (TNG: "Conspiracy", okudagram)
In 2373, two class-5 intelligence drones were stationed in the vicinity of Portas V. Captain Benjamin Sisko ordered that their sensor logs be retrieved in order to find out who had recently visited the planet. (DS9: "For the Uniform")