A sensor drone was a type of long-range sensor probe deployed by the Federation in the 23rd and 24th centuries.

In the 2260s, sensor drones were sent to the planet Argo under the direction of the Starfleet Science Center. They transmitted data showing that a series of violent earthquakes centuries ago had changed the planet into a water world. The drones' sensors may have been blocked by large amounts of dissolved mineral salts and metals in the ocean, because they picked up simple animal life but not large undersea lifeforms such as sur-snakes or the Aquan civilization residing on the ocean floor. (TAS - Log Five novelization: The Ambergris Element)

When Epsilon IX first detected signs of an engagement between three Klingon K't'inga-class battle cruisers and the V'Ger entity in 2273, they sent out sensor drones to visually monitor the remainder of the engagement and send images back to Starfleet Command. (TOS movie & novelization: Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

In 2376, Ro Laren thought about deploying automated sensor drones between B'hava'el and the Badlands. (DS9 novel: Bajor: Fragments and Omens)

Sensor drones were also used by the Ferengi Alliance. In 2355, sensor drones were sent out by the Seventy-Fifth Rule to survey the planets of the Maxia Zeta system. (TNG novel: The Buried Age)

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