Drone Glossary Terms

The world of UAVs can be full of technical terms and abbreviations that a newcomer may find intimidating. That’s why we’ve come up with a glossary of terms to help you make sense of it all.

This glossary is written for both beginners and seasoned enthusiasts and is an ongoing post that will be updated regularly to include more terms.

If you have any terms that you feel should be added, please drop as email at info (at) thedronefiles.net.

An open-source electronics platform that covers hardware and software.

Barometric Pressure Sensor
An air pressure sensor that measures atmospheric fluctuations. Commonly used in UAVs to determine a drone’s altitude.

The process of establishing a radio link between a transmitter and a receiver.

Bind-N-Fly (BNF)
A radio-controlled vehicle that is sold without a radio transmitter or receiver. May or may not include a battery.

An unmanned aerial vehicle with autonomous capabilities.

Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)
Electronic component that is used to control the speed of a motor.

First Person View (FPV)
A method used to view video feed from a radio-controlled vehicle’s point of view, commonly done using an FPV monitor which could be in the form of a smartphone, tablet, goggles or LCD monitor.

Headless Mode
A term typically used by toy drone manufacturers to refer to a feature that allows a drone to fly relative to the pilot’s position. This feature allows the pilot to fly the drone without worrying where its front is facing. In headless mode, the drone will fly in any direction the pilot orders it relative to the transmitter’s position, irrespective of where the drone’s front or “head” is facing.

A drone’s “front” angle is determined when the motors are armed. This angle will not change if the pilot moves to a different position. For example, a drone faces north when its motors are armed, flies to a certain altitude and then turns to face east. If the pilot is facing north, pressing the aileron stick to the left will result in the drone moving to the left (west) of the pilot. With headless mode turned off, pressing the aileron stick to the left will result in the drone moving away (northwards) from the pilot instead of moving to the left (east).



Adrin Sham

Adrin Sham is a designer and photographer turned drone enthusiast. Since buying a drone for aerial photography some years ago, he has since developed a passion for UAVs and all things related.

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