There seems to be a lot of technical terms used in the Drone Industry that might be a little confusing for beginners. Here is a glossary of important words and drone terms you may need to know:
BVLOS BVLOS is a flight Beyond Visual Line of Sight, where the pilot has no visual reference of the aircraft.
CAAM Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia, formerly known as Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), is the government agency under the Ministry of Transport charged with the safety, security and efficiency of aviation services within the Malaysian Flight Information Regions (FIR).
In Malaysia, Drones, or small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) not exceeding 20kg in weight may be flown without the need for a permit or approval from the DCA.
DJI Da Jiang Innovations or more commonly known as DJI is the global leader in drone technology with 70-80% commercial drone market share. The company continues to innovate and push UAV technology forward with DJI drones used across a wide range of industries such as Public Safety, Telecoms, Construction, Agriculture and Media.
EVLOS EVLOS is defined as a UAV operation whereby the Pilot in Command (PIC) and/or the observer maintains an uninterrupted visual situational awareness of the airspace in which the UAV operation is being conducted for encroaching aircraft. The UAS may be operated out of sight of the PIC and observer (if used), but must be kept in a defined area of operation with control authority being maintained by the PIC at all times.
The locational delta between an UAV and the Remote Pilot can be a matter of tens of meters or thousands of kilometres. These operating ‘ranges’ are termed either Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS) or Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) operations.
IP Rating: An IP rating is used to define levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies (tools, dirt etc) and moisture. For example; IP65 Enclosure – IP rated as “dust tight” and protected against water projected from a nozzle.
VLoS: Otherwise referred to as Visual Line of Sight, and is essentially the opposite to BVLoS. This is how drone operators should operate, ensuring that their drone is well within their visual line of sight.
Ascent Speed: This is the speed that the drone ascends into the air. For example, the Wind 4 has a ascent speed of 4 metres per second (m/s).
Batteries: Your drone battery is possibly the joint most important part of the drone. If the batteries fail, the drone fails. They come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the size of the drone. The better the battery, the better the life of the drone. The more batteries attached, the longer the drone stays in the air.
Camera: Different drones come with different camera qualities depending on the primary use of the drone. Some drones come with bespoke camera builds, or allow the pilot to attach a camera to them.
Camera Gimbal: The Gimbal houses the camera, and allows the camera to have movement in the air. It also allows the camera to stay still whilst the drone is in movement, allowing for a steady and accurate shot.
Descent Speed: This is the speed that the drone descends from the sky.
DJI GO 4: If you’ve purchased a DJI drone then it’s likely you’ll have come across the DJI Go 4 app.
First Person View: Allows the pilot to see where they are flying through the drone’s camera.
Flight Control System: Allows the operator to manually control the drone whilst in flight.
GPS: Otherwise known as Global Positioning System. A navigation system that allows the pilot to have an accurate idea of the drone’s current position.
Hovering Time: Just as the name suggest, the hovering time is how long the drone can hover in the sky when not in movement. The hovering time varies depending on the weight of payload, the heavier the payload, the lesser the hovering time.
IMU: An IMU is a single unit in the electronics module which collects angular velocity and linear acceleration data which is sent to the main processor.
Landing Gear: Most drones have a fixed landing gear, which will also be retractable to allow for a full 360-degree view in-flight. Fixed-wing drones don’t have landing gear as they land perfectly fine on their belly.
Megaphone: A megaphone is an extra payload, ideal for crowd control or finding people during a search and rescue. The transmission is via an external microphone with a 5km range, enabling output even at long distances.
Payloads: Your payload is essentially whatever you choose to attach to your drone. This can range from the camera, to a megaphone, to a gas detector, to extra batteries, amongst many other things.
Propellers: Also known as Props, these are what get the drone off the ground, and into the air. They spin in correlation to the pilot’s manual controls and depending on the intensity of the spin is what creates the intensity of the drone’s movement.
Remote Controller: This is the hand-held controller that allows you to dictate the movement of your drone, as well as adjusting the settings
RTK: RTK stands for real time kinematics. This is a satellite navigation technique that’s used to enhance the precision of position data derived from satellite based precision systems such as GPS.
Thermal: Thermal cameras allow you to collect thermal imaging and data. This can be used to monitor crop defects, as well as the more traditional methods such as tracing life in emergency situations.
Transmitter: The device that sends signals from the pilot’s handheld controller, up to the drone.
Tripod mode: A very slow and stable mode, ideal for shooting low to the ground, as well as close-up action shots. It’s a very precise style of filming and is used frequently by cinematographers and photographers in their work.
VTOL Otherwise known as Vertical Takeoff and Landing. This allows the drone to takeoff vertically.