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A Quick Guide to Drone Pilot Lingo

A Quick Guide to Drone Pilot Lingo

Become familiar with Drone Pilot communication terms, learn Drone Pilot lingo. To ensure that you understand terms that are spoken and written when you are venturing into the world of drones, we have compiled a list of acronyms for you to learn. It will help improve your overall experience when becoming a Drone Pilot.

Learning Drone Pilot lingo will help you to communication professionally with your peers and clients and ensure you understand the information being relayed to you.

Drone Lingo – A to B

Accelerometer:
Accelerometers are used to determine position and orientation of the drone in flight.
Acro:
Acro mode allows for fully acrobatic drone flight.
Aerial Photography:
Aerial photography (or airborne imagery) is the taking of photographs from a drone.
AGL:
Altitude above ground level or height above ground level
Altitude Hold Function:
Altitude Hold feature allows a drone to automatically maintain an altitude.
ARF:
Almost-Ready-to-Fly, this means the model needs some additional “need to complete” items before you can start flying.
Autopilot:
Autopilot systems allow an unmanned aerial vehicle, such as a drone, to perform entire missions autonomously without the need for manual remote control.
Autonomous Flight:
An autonomous drone can conduct a safe flight without the intervention of a pilot.
Balanced Battery Charger:
The charger will adjust, up or down, the voltage of each cell in a battery so that they match.
Barometric Pressure Sensor:
Combined with the accelerometer and gyroscope, barometric pressure sensors enable drones to fly with precision.
Betaflight:
Betaflight is flight controller software (firmware) used to fly multi-rotor craft and fixed wing craft.
Bind or Binding:
Binding refers to the process of linking a RC-controller with a Drone.
BNF:
BNF stands for Bind-N-Fly.
Brushless Motor:
A brushless motor has in its centre an assembly of silicon-steel sheets and windings, known as coils
BVLOS:
Beyond visual line of sight

Drone Lingo – C to Y

Camera Gimbal:
A gimbal is designed to keep your camera at the same angle regardless of the movement of the drone.
Cleanflight:
Cleanflight is flight controller software for multi-rotor and fixed wings.
Commercial Flight:
Commercial flight applies to anyone who uses a drone for work, business, or non-recreational reasons.
Controller:
The remote control to the drone, which tells the drone what to do.
Drone:
A drone, in technological terms, is an unmanned aircraft.
ESC:
Electronic speed control is a device that allows drone flight controllers to control and adjust the speed of the drones’ electric motors.
Fail Safe:
This is a software add-on that eliminates propulsion system failures for any drone.
FPV:
First Person View
A method used to control a Drone from the driver or pilot’s perspective.
Frequency:
Refers to Radio Frequency or RF and is the frequency over which the drone and controller communicate.
Geofencing:
Geofencing uses GPS to create an invisible barrier to either stop to drone entering an area or to stop the drone moving out of an area.
Gimbal:
Gimbals are used to stabilise camera payloads that have been mounted on drones.
GIS:
Geographic Information System is designed to capture and store geographical data from the drone.
GPS:
Global Positioning System
GCS:
Ground Control Station is ground-based hardware and software that allow drone operators to control a drone and its payloads.
Gyroscope:
A gyroscope measures the rate of rotation and helps keep the drone balanced.
Head Tracking:
Allows you to move the camera on the drone with your head using googles.
IMU:
Inertial Measurement Unit is an electronic device that uses accelerometers and gyroscopes to measure acceleration and rotation.
INS:
Inertial Navigation System is a self-referential method by which a system may track its own position.
LiPo Battery:
Lithium Polymer batteries are the latest technology and give much greater power and runtime than older NiMh batteries.
mAh:
Milli Amp Hours is the current of one ampere flowing for one hour.
Mode 1 Transmitters:
Mode 1 moves the throttle function to the right stick and the elevator control to the left stick.
Mode 2 Transmitters:
Mode 2 moves the throttle function to the left stick and the elevator control to the right stick.
Nano Drone:
A very small drone, more commonly used by the military.
No Fly Zone:
An area where you cannot fly at all.
OSD:
On Screen Display
Payload:
Payload is the weight a drone can carry.
PDB:
Power Distribution Board
Pre-Flight Planning:
Planning conducted prior to a flight.
Quadcopter:
A quadcopter or quadrotor is a type of helicopter with four rotors.
Radio Controller:
The device used to control the drone.
RTH:
Return to Home is a common feature on drones that will return to the drone back to a GPS point.
Sense And Avoid:
A feature on some drones that would sense obstacles and avoid them.
Spotter:
The person that keeps tracks the drone if you do not have visual line of site (VLOS) or you are using first person view (FPV).
Servo:
Servos are also known as actuators and are typically used by drones to move cameras.
Throttle:
Throttle controls the vertical up and down motion of the drone.
Thrust:
Thrust is the amount of upward force your drone can produce when at full throttle.
Transmitter:
Drone Radio Transmitter is an electronic device that uses radio signals to transmit commands.
Ultrasonic Sensor:
Ultrasonic sensors emit sound waves which then travel through air and reflects through the object which is then received by the receiver.
Video Latency:
Video latency refers to the degree of delay between the time a transfer of a video stream is requested and the actual time that transfer begins.
VLOS:
Visual line of sight
Waypoint:
Waypoints are physical locations that the drone will fly to.
Yaw:
Yaw refers to the direction the front of your drone is facing when rotating either clockwise or counter clockwise on its vertical axis.