Drone & Aviation Terminology (Glossary)
There seems to be a lot of terms out there in the drone industry that might confuse the beginner pilot so I have put together a list of terms with definitions (a brief dictionary). We hope this helps.
Please let us know if you have any terms that you would like defined and added.
The frequency used by digital (spread spectrum) radio communications in our applications, including 2.4Ghz RC, Bluetooth and some video transmission equipment. This is a different band than the older 72 Mhz band that is used for analogue RC communications. To avoid radio frequency conflict is it often a good idea to use 72 Mhz radio equipment when you are using 2.4 GHz onboard video transmitters, or use 900 Mhz video when using 2.4 GHz RC equipment.
A device that measures acceleration forces in a specific direction. Used to help stabilize quadcopters, often under windy conditions.
A device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air.
Air Traffic Control (ATC)
A service operated by appropriate authority (such as the FAA in the US) to promote the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic. We often use this term to designate the Air Traffic Controllers (sometimes called ATCOs) that ensure this service locally.
Air Traffic Management (ATM)
The aggregation of the airborne functions and ground-based functions (air traffic services, airspace management and air traffic flow management) required to ensure the safe and efficient movement of aircraft during all phases of operations.
All Up Weight (AUW)
Almost Ready To Fly (ARTF)
Altitude Hold (AH)
Aerial Photography (AP)
Aerial photography is the taking of photographs from an aircraft or other flying objects.
Barometric Altimeter (BARO)
Bind aNd Fly (BNF)
Centre of Gravity (CG or CoG)
Detect and Avoid (D&A or DAA)
DSM / DSM2 / DSMX
Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
Electronic Speed Control (ESC)
Electronically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EEPROM)
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
A United States Department of Transportation Agency, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of American civil aviation. Visit their official site here.
Field of View (FOV)
A measurement how much environment you can see through a camera lens. Usually measured in degrees.
First Person View (FPV)
Flight controller (FC)
Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS)
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Ground Control Station (GCS)
Inercial Measurement Unit (IMU)
Inner Loop / Outer Loop
Lithium Polymer Batter (LIPO)
Line of Sight (LOS)
On Screen Display (OSD)
QUAD / Quadcopter
Radio Controlled (RC)
Ready To Fly (RTF)
Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI)
Return to Home (RTH)
Revolutions Per Minute (RPM)
Unmanned Airborne System (UAS)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. In the military, these are increasingly called Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), to reflect that the aircraft is just part of a complex system in the air and on the ground. Ground-based autonomous robots are called Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs), and robot submersibles are called Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). Robot boats are called Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs).