Drone Terminology & Glossary – A Quick Reference Guide For You

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So, there must be a lot of terms that we have heard related to drones but then do not exactly know what their actual meaning is. So, here we are offering you a brief for these glossary terms to give an insight of the same under under Drone Terminology Section. Have a look!



It is a tool which is used to determine the acceleration forces in a given direction also is supportive for maintaining the orientation of Drones. These devices are utilized for the purpose of to stabilizing quadcopters.

Aerial Photography

It can be defined as a pastime or may be a source of income for some people by capturing video and images in the air with a camera mounted on the unmanned aircraft or drone.


Altitude Above Ground Level (AGL) can be described as the height measured with respect to the underlying ground surface.

Altitude Hold function

This function permits the drone pilot to keep the focus on the camera at the same time when the drone hovers steadily in skill by itself at a certain height. An Onboard barometer is required to permit the Altitude Hold.


Also known as, almost ready to fly feature. This describes that while purchasing a Drone or Quadcopter what all components come along with it. ARF units might not include a transmitter, therefore it needs to be assembled.


It can be explained as the ability of a drone to carry out a flight without any real-time control by a human. For instance following pre-set GPS coordinates.

Autonomous Flight

There are certain SUAVs’s which are managed using the internal programming that includes instructions about where to fly as directed by an onboard GPS system. This is completely opposite to steering mechanisms which are operated using the radio control which is on the ground.


One plane of potential flight. The majority of quadcopters have as a minimum as 4 axis controls, with 6+ being favored.


Balance Battery Charger

It can be called as an internal system for Lipo batteries or a charger which makes the use of the smart technology for chagrining multiple cells which are placed inside the battery and also balances them.

Barometric Pressure Sensor

It is a device which makes the use of the barometric readings to calculate aircraft’s altitude. It also helps the drones to determine their height above the ground level, together with the arrangement of other sensors.


In this process the controller is made to communicate with the drone.


Bind N Fly. It is a unit which is all see to unite your transmitter and fly.

Brushless Motor

These motors include permanent magnets which rotate about a fixed armature, it eradicates any troubles that could be linked with connecting current concerning a moving part. The brushless motors are very efficient and enduring than brushed motors.


A drone which is built at home as a DIY, opposed to one which we purchase from the stores.


Stand for, beyond visual line of sight. If during flight the drone goes out of sight.


Camera gimbal

It can be described as the camera holder used on drones. It includes the capability of swerving and tilt. The gimbal is powerful enough to hold up even large cameras DSLR.

Commercial Flight

It can be understood as flying a drone for the purpose of money-making. It is at present restricted by FAA regulations except when you have an exemption.


It can be termed as a handheld device which is utilized by the drone pilot; it is used to control the quadcopter and the drone. Controllers are also referred as transmitters.



It can be described as an unmanned aerial vehicle which is capable of flying autonomously.


Electronic Speed Control

Also termed as ESC. This device is used for controlling the motor of the electric aircraft. It acts as a connection between the main battery and the RC receiver. It normally comprises of a Battery Elimination Circuit (BEC), which distributes the power for the onboard electronics for example autopilot and the RC system.



Also known as Federal Aviation Administration is a United States Department of Transportation Agency, it comes with the with the power to oversee and regulate all the features of American civil aviation.

First Person View

FPV is a method in which the operators of the drone view the footage of the camera from the UAV in real-time. The video streaming can be viewed with either a pair of special goggles, with the help of the device like a smartphone or a tablet.


It is software or sketch which loaded in the microprocessor based products’ memory which is non-volatile in nature. It is referred as the firmware is because of its memory state is non-volatile even in the situation when the power is detached. In the case of autopilots, it is an application or program that decides what and how the autopilot should do.


It stands for ‘First Person View’ or ‘Remote Person View’. The FPV is located on a camera and is mounted over the copter which permits the operator to see exactly what the drone is capturing in real time.

Flight Control System

It is a system of controls which is interconnected and permits the pilot to fly the copter or any airborne vehicle which is multi-rotor.

Fly Away

In case you fly unintentionally outside of the operational boundaries (airspeed/altitude/lateral) as the consequence of a breakdown of the onboard systems or control element or both.

Fly-Away Protection System

It is a system that will help the UAV to return safely to the ground, or make it stay under the planned operational area, in the situations when the connection between the UAV and pilot is lost.



It is a specialized mount for a camera which provides the ability to tilt and swerve by employing servos. This provides the camera with the ability to stay in a certain position, in spite of the movement of the copter. It permits extremely stabilized and smooth images.


Highlighted name in camcorders, Gopro are high-definition and are often used in the situations of video photography of extreme-action. This video device serves HD-quality along with waterproof video recordings which are lightweight compact and rugged. Along with its attachments, they are mounted wearable on vehicles.


Stands for Global Positioning System which is used to locate the position of any object in with respect to the global spatial plane, track movement or cause an airborne vehicle, for example, a copter to grasp position ,for example, the advanced DJI Phantom.

Ground Control Station

GCS is a software operates from the ground on a given computer. It is used to receive telemetry information with the help of an airborne UAV. It exhibits its progress and status. It frequently comprises of video data and sensor. It is also used in the situations of transmitting in-flight instructions up to the unmanned vehicle in the air.


This drone terminology gyroscope or gyro is responsible for keeping the aircraft balanced in accordance with a pitch , roll, and yaw to maintain the orientation of the copter during the flight, it is also used to measures the rate of rotation of the drone. In most of the situations, copters employ a triple-axis gyroscope.



It is a multi-rotor aircraft which comprises of six rotors which the advantage and beauty of this hexicopter as in situations when looses any single engine, it will still be capable of maintaining its control to the land.

Hobby Grade

Improved than toy grade, these copters offer a good operation and reliability at a very reasonable price. The JJRC H25G, Syma X8G is an example of quads which are hobby grade.

Headless Mode

In spite of the orientation of the aircraft, the manner in which the front of the aircraft is pointed, it will go after your stick movements.



Stand for Inertial Measurement Unit. It is a controller which combines gyro and an accelerometer, with the intention of helping with the stabilization and orientation of a copter.

Inertial Navigation System

INS. It is used for calculating position which is based on the reading of initial GPS. This is followed by motion and speed a sensor reading that employs dead reckoning. This is helpful when the GPS has lost its signal strength temporarily or is not obtainable.


Intelligent orientation control -Generally, the nose direction is the same as flying the multi-rotor in the forward direction. With the help of Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC), wherever the nose points, the forward direction in no way is related to the nose direction.


Line of Sight

LOS, means that you are able to see your aircraft naked eye from your operating position. It is always suggested to keep the drone within the line of sight.


Stands for Lithium Polymer– It is the type of battery preferred by most of the manufacturers of drone because of its low weight along with maximized charge power and capacity. Though LiPos are safe but it is always suggested to be aware of overcharging the battery or damaging the flexible polymer case as it can result in fire.

Lithium Polymer battery

LiPo or LiPoly. The Lithium Ion battery (Li Ion) is alternative. It is lighter in weight and offers more as compared to NiMh and NiCad batteries. OSD stands for on screen display. This is the finest way for people to put together the telemetry as well as other information in streaming the video real time for the aircraft to send back to the earth.


Mobius Camera

Well-liked lightweight model of camera which is capable of shooting video in HD as well as capture intervalometer photos. It was mainly developed to be utilized with RC drones.


Modification: A lot of Drone enthusiasts modify their aircrafts to put together cool features along with new functions. These modifications are often referred as mods.


It is the generic name given to a drone which comes with multiple propellers. Aerial drones which comprise of multiple horizontal propellers is also called as rotors. The number of rotors suggests if it is a quadcopter, hexacopters , tri copters, octocopters and so on.

Multi-rotor copters

They are generally referred various names, such as: Quadcopter, Drone, Quadrocopter or Quadricopter etc.



It is a flight controller which is employed on DJI Phantom Drones and it comprises of an accelerometer, the main control chip, a barometric altimeter and a gyroscope.

No Fly Zone

Regions where flying a copter is strictly restricted according to the government regulations. Regions where a copter could get in the way with an airplane or capture some sensitive information comprises of most of these regions.



A drone which comprises of 8 horizontal rotors or propellers.


It means On Screen Display.



It can be described as the sum of additional weight an aircraft is capable of lifting in addition to the weight of its own along with its batteries. When you attach gimbal and a camera and to your copter, the collective weight is known as payload.


 A measure which demonstrates the angle of the flight along one axis, typically calculated from the level in situations of aerial vehicles.

Pre Flight Planning

The actions carried out by the drone pilot along with the flight crew before to takeoff to make sure that the flight will be carried out safely and in harmony with all applicable regulations and standards. The activity comprises of , but is not restricted to, such things like route of flight, checking weather, equipment configuration, airspace, support personnel, terrain and communications necessities.

Power Distribution Board

Is the PDB is a board that is employed on the multicopters to aid in distributing the power to each motor so as to provide appropriate stabilization of the unit.



Unmanned Aerial Vehicle which typically consist of 4 propellers, located in a square arrangement for precise and smooth flight.


Radio Controller

Wireless handheld devices which are used to manage flight of the copter.


Also known as Radio Controlled.


Abbreviation for “Radio Controlled – it means controlling of a copter via radio waves.


Ready to Fly – This means that the copter includes everything which is necessary for the pack. All you are required to do is put it collectively, add batteries and you are all set to fly the drone. Sometimes it might me the possibility that you may require buying the batteries separately, however, in most situations it’s already mentioned on the box.


Sense And Avoid

The ability of a drone to stay well in a clear from as well as avoid collisions with added airborne traffic. Sense and Avoid offer the functionality of collision avoidance and self-separation.


Also known as servomechanism or servomotor. Aerial vehicles utilize servomotors for a lot of functions, for example, adjustment of wing flaps and pan cameras which can be monitored from the ground.


It is an abbreviation for small Unmanned Aircraft System



Control which influence the RPM or the pace of electric motors.

Toy grade

The basic level of drones,generally priced under $100, utilizing cheap components. They can be a good way to start for beginners, as they can still offer a lot of fun, in spite of the lack of reliability. When you are all set, you can shift on to a hobby grade or even or more advanced aircrafts, but the cost will increase.


Also known as transmit or transmitter.



Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. An aircraft which is capable of propelling itself all the way through the air with no a pilot onboard. In case you didn’t knew, the drone terminologies -Quadcopters and Drones are UAVs.

Ultrasonic sensor

A sensor that utilize the ultra sound wavelength to converse with a transmitter. In UAVs, ultrasonic sensors are utilized for measuring the distance to the earth by bouncing sound waves back and forth. They stop working after a few meters from the earth .


Visual line of sight

Is the expression describes how the pilot can witness the aircraft from the earth without use of any artificial vision.

Visual Observer

The member of the crew who aid the drone pilot in the responsibilities related with collision avoidance. This comprises of but is not restricted to, airborne objects, avoidance of other traffic, obstructions, clouds and terrain.


Abbreviation for Visual Line of Sight.



The set of coordinates which describes a point in space. Waypoints are helpful in designing a lot of autonomous missions for copters. Mapping out would be impracticable without a possibility to describe these physical locations.



It depicts the rotation of a copter around its center axis on a level plane.