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UAV, Drone and Multirotor Glossary of Terms

Choosing a drone requires understanding of the basic industry terms the market uses in describing its products so you can reach the best buying decision. Below you will find GPC’s Drone, Multirotor and GoPro® Glossary of Terms, defining many of the terms used to describe UAV and GoPro® systems and their parts.


Aerial Photography/Video
Aerial photography/video refers to capturing photographic or video footage from an elevated position, whereas the camera is not supported by a ground-based foundation.

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Autonomous Flight
Autonomous flight refers to UAVs that are controlled by internal programming that tells it where to fly, rather than a person sending radio signals.

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Collision Avoidance
Much of UAVs have collision avoidance systems to prevent pilots from flying into fixed objects or other aircraft. It is also known as sense and avoid.

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Controller
The controller, also known as the transmitter, is the handheld device used by the drone pilot to control the quadrocopter.

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DJI
DJI Innovations, a highly regarded multirotor manufacturer who sells drones, quadcopters and more.

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Drone
Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS), are aircraft without a human pilot aboard. They are either controlled by pilots on-the-ground, or autonomously via a pre-programmed mission.

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FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)
FAA is a United States Department of Transportation Agency, with the authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of American civil aviation.

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FC (Flight Controller)
Flight Controller is the brain of the multirotor.

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FOV (Field of View)
FOV refers to the measurement of how much environment you can see through a camera lens, usually measured in degrees.

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FPV (First-Person View)
First Person View (FPV), also known as remote-person view (RPV), is a method used to control radio-controlled vehicle from the driver or pilot’s viewpoint. A person referring to “flying FPV” is referring to piloting their model aircraft from a first person perspective onboard.

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Gimbal
A gimbal is the mount on which a drone’s camera sits, usually allowing the camera to move along multiple axes by remote control. This offers a wider range of angles for the aerial photographer or videographer.

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GoPro®
GoPros® are high-definition camcorders, often used in extreme-action video photography. It is an HD-quality, waterproof video recording device that is compact, lightweight, rugged and wearable or mounted on vehicles.

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Hobbyists
Hobbyists are noncommercial pilots that fly UAVs domestically. Their aircrafts can’t go more than 400 feet in altitude and must be line-of-sight.

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Inspire 1
The Inspire 1 is a quadcopter that shoots up to 4K video and captures 12 megapixel photos. It captures a full, unrestricted 360-degree view of the world below.

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Landing Gear
Landing gear comes in various sizes (tall/short), and is the undercarriage of an aircraft, including the wheels or pontoons on which it rests while not in the air.

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Line of Sight
Many sUAS’s (or small unmanned aircraft systems) are line-of-sight machines, meaning the pilot controlling the device must be in direct sight of the aircraft so that radio signals can be transmitted back and forth. Larger UAVs are not line-of-sight aircrafts because the radio signals that control them are bounded off of satellites or manned aircraft.

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Multicopter
Multicopters are rotorcrafts with more than two rotors, which allows for simpler rotor mechanics required for flight control.

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Multirotor
Multirotors, also known as multicopters, are helicopters having more than two rotors, typically designed for unmanned flight.

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Octocopter
Octocopters are unmanned helicopters with eight rotors.

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Phantom
Brand name of DJI’s ready-to-fly quadcopter.

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Quadcopter (Quadrocopter, QUAD)
Quadcopters, also referred to as quadrocopters, are unmanned helicopters with four rotors.

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R/C (RC, or Radio Control)
Radio control is the use of radio signals to remotely control a device. It refers to most multirotors and quadcopters that are controlled by radio transmitters or by smartphone or tablet.

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RTF (Ready to Fly)
RTF refers to a multicopter that has everything you need to start flying.

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SKB
SKB is a manufacturing company dedicated to travel and storage protection needs.

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sUAS
sUAS is short for small unmanned aircraft system, generally speaking of battery-powered aircraft that can be picked up by one or two people.

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Throttle
A throttle is the control(s) on your radio transmitter, changing the speed of the motors.

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UAS (Unmanned Aerial-Vehicle System)
Unmanned aircraft systems or (UAS) refers to the unmanned aircraft and all of its components, including: control stations and software, remote controls, control links, launch and recovery equipment.

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UAV
A UAV is an unmanned aerial vehicle (an aircraft piloted by remote control or onboard computers).

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Water-jet Foam
Water-jet foam processing is a computerized, manufacturing process for drone & GoPro® cases that offers a perfectly snug fit. It allows for quick and easy changes with a couple strokes of a mouse that are more precise than die cutting. It offers extremely high details that allows people to pack more accessories into a case.

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X8
An X8 is a type of multicopter that has eight motors in the same of the letter ‘X’ — with four motors on top and four motors on the bottom.

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Y6
A Y6 is a type of multicopter that has six motors in the shape of the letter ‘Y’ — with three motors on top and three motors on the bottom.

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If there are any additional terms or concepts not included in the GPC Drone, Multirotor and GoPro® Glossary of Terms, or if you’d like more clarification on any of the terms above, GPC is happy to answer any questions. We may add it to our glossary, too.



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