Popular Science: A Guide to Common Drone Vocabulary

Discussion in 'Specific Models of Quadcopters and Drones' started by CurveShot, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. CurveShot

    CurveShot New Member

    If you're unfamiliar with drones (or even unfamiliar), reading all the words in the industry and expecting to fully understand it can be daunting. That's why we are here to help with the Drone Vocabulary Guide! The goal is to make sure you understand what you are reading, especially the specifications.


    A device for sensing and measuring 3-dimensional acceleration mainly used to help stabilize drones. Usually, these are built into the flight computer.

    Automatic leveling

    Enables drones to automatically travel in uniform flight.

    Autonomous flight

    No human intervention is required to complete the flight of the system.


    Beyond sight. The operator cannot see any flight of the drone with independent vision (binoculars, cameras, etc.), including when the operator cannot tell which direction the drone is facing.

    Coverage area

    The area that a drone can cover during flight. For many drones, this will change depending on the payload configuration.

    Cruising speed

    Speed of the drone during the flight cruise phase.


    The ability to see, sense or detect air traffic or other hazards and take action to prevent collisions.

    flight duration

    Drone flight time. This is usually the longest time when viewing drone specifications. When scheduling a task, this is the time required to complete the task.


    Ground control station. GCS is usually the interface that operators use to control or issue commands to drones.


    An accessory used with the payload option to stabilize cameras and sensors to retrieve better data or to direct the payload in different directions during operation.


    Ground sampling distance. GSD is the distance between pixels in an image measured on the object under inspection (mostly the ground). For example, a 1-inch GSD is equivalent to each pixel in a photo being 1 inch wide, or about a quarter the size. A better GSD usually results in more accurate and higher quality data during pre-processing and post-processing. GSD is a function of payload and height.


    A device that assists a drone to maintain a reference direction during a flight.


    A method of flying a drone from the ground to the air.


    Light detection and ranging. LiDAR payloads use light (usually by using a pulsed laser) to measure the distance to the earth. LiDAR payloads typically use very fast pulsed laser arrays to collect a large number of data points. These data points will be processed with the data collected for the location of the LiDAR system to build a 3D model.


    The operator can see the drone without glasses and know any flight in its direction.

    Lithium-Ion Battery

    Lithium-Ion Battery. A battery that typically provides higher efficiency than LiPo, but at the cost of less power available at a given time. These batteries are very useful at low power, and efficiency is paramount. These batteries are also more flammable than others, so it's usually best to equip them with protection circuitry to protect them from dangerous situations.

    Lithium battery

    lithium polymer battery. Compared to similar-sized lithium-ion batteries, these batteries can often provide large amounts of power quickly, but at the cost of efficiency. These batteries also typically have a shorter life than lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are suitable for high-power activities or systems where efficiency is not critical.

    Takeoff weight

    The maximum weight at which a drone can safely take off and complete a mission.

    Maximum wind

    The maximum wind speed that the drone should use. This may apply to gusts or sustained winds, which is usually specified by the manufacturer.

    BY:MMC ——www.mmcuav.com

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