Terms and Abbreviations

Terms and Abbreviations

Altitude Hold - Enables the drone to automatically maintain a consistent altitude, holding its current position in the air when there is no input from the pilot.

Brushless Motor – Also known as electronically commutated motors, a brushless motor has permanent magnets which rotate around a fixed armature eliminating problems associated with connecting current to the moving part. The brushless motors are far more efficient and durable than brushed motors.

Controller – The handheld device that is used by the drone pilot to control the drone and the quadcopter. Controllers are also called transmitters and remotes.

Digital Zoom - Image processing that enlarges the area at the center of the photo and crops out the rest, while reducing the image resolution and quality.

Electronic Image Stabilization - Reduces shake in videos using an array of sensors to track the source of the jitter, and an image stabilization algorithm to crop the images to compensate.

FPV First Person View, also known as Remote Person View (RPV). The FPV system is based on a camera mounted on the quadcopter which lets the operator see what the aerial vehicle is seeing in real time. Some drones have a screen built into the controller, others require a smart phone.

FOV - Field of view measures how much area you can see through a camera lens in degrees

Frame Size - distance between center of two opposite motors

Follow Me - An intelligent flight mode that enables your drone to follow you wherever you go. Depending on the drone, this can be based on the controller, your phone or a subject you select in an app. Unless your drone has obstacle avoidance you need to make sure you are in a wide open space where the drone will not fly into anything.

Gesture control - allows the user to control the drone with hand signals. Depending on the drone, different controls will be available, typically taking a photo or video but can also range up to flight control.

GLONASS - Global Navigation Satellite System, is a networks of satellites orbiting the earth separate from GPS. Used to track movement or hold position, increases accuracy and coverage when combined with GPS.

GPS Global Positioning System is a networks of satellites orbiting the earth used to track movement or hold position.

GPS Return to Home - On a GPS enabled drone, it remembers where it is on takeoff, so when you use the return to home function it returns directly to the starting point. Some drones will automatically enter this return to home mode if signal is lost with the controller or GPS satellites, or battery is low.

Gimbal - a mount that keeps the camera at the same position regardless of the motion of the drone. This improves the quality of your videos by removing vibration and shake, resulting in a still and smooth image.  A two axis gimbal  stabilizes the motion along two axes; pitch and roll, the horizontal movement is more jittery than a 3 axis gimbal. A three axis gimbal stabilizes the motion along three axes; pitch, roll and yaw, but is heavier and draws more power than a two axis gimbal.

Gravity Sensor Mode - Enables the quadcopter to automatically follow the way you move your smartphone. 

Gyroscope  A device that measures angular velocity and helps maintain orientation of the quadcopter while in flight. Usually quadcopters are using a triple-axis gyroscope.

Headless Mode - Also called easy mode and beginner mode. Typically when you control the drone, the directions from your controller are based on the way that the drone is facing, which can be confusing if you are not facing the same way as your drone. When you use headless mode, you control the drone based on the way that the controller is facing, rather than the drone so it will turn in the direction that the controller is facing rather than the direction the drone is facing.

Image Scaling - the process of resizing a digital image to increase the resolution. The resulting image is typically not as good as one taken in the same native resolution.

LOS   Line of Sight, refers to being able to see your drone from your operating position with your naked eye. Your drone should always be within your line of sight.

Max Flight Range - The maximum distance from the remote that the drone can still be controlled. It is the horizontal and vertical distance combined. In ideal conditions, without any other signals in the area and with no obstacles between you and your drone eg. a tree, a hill or building.

Max Fight TimeHow long the drone can fly on one battery charged, under optimal conditions. Actual flight time will vary depending on a large number of factors including speed, hovering, accelerating, decelerating, temperature, altitude, wind, load, flips and other tricks.

Max FPV Range -  The maximum distance that the drone can transmit the FPV feed back to the remote display or your phone. It is the horizontal and vertical distance combined. In ideal conditions, without any other signals in the area and with no obstacles between you and your drone eg. a tree, a hill or building. This does not affect saving images and video to the SD Card.

Modular batteries - Batteries that are easily swapped out, allowing depleted batteries to be exchanged for fully charged ones to extend flying times.

Native Camera Resolution - The camera resolution before any digital image scaling is applied.

No Fly Zone – Areas where flying a drone is restricted by government regulations. Areas where a drone could interfere with an airplane or record sensitive information make up most of these areas.

Obstacle avoidance - Uses obstacle detection sensors to scan the surroundings and automatically avoid colliding with any obstacles. Typically laser or infrared sensors that detect horizontally, and not necessarily for the full 360 degrees. Most drones will stop and wait for directions from the pilot, not maneuver around the obstacle.

One Key Return - For drones without GPS, the one key return function causes it to go back to its starting point based on where it remembers it has flown . This only works if headless mode is enabled.

One Key Takeoff/Landing - Automatic take off and landing feature initiated with one button.

Optical Flow - a downward facing camera is used to stabilize the drone and prevent it from drifting away horizontally. This works best when the ground has distinguishing features.

Pitch – Simply describes movement up and down along the vertical axis from the front to the back of the drone.

Quadcopter  A common kind of small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) that has four rotors oriented horizontally like a helicopter, usually using only the varying speed of the rotors (motors) to achieve both stability and direction of flight.

Roll – Is the rotation of the aircraft from front to back on a copter. Basically, it refers to the movement of the drone forward, backward, left and right along a horizontal axis.

RTFReady to Fly. This means the drone is sold with everything needed in the pack. All you need to do is put it together, add batteries and you are ready to use it. It is possible you may need to buy the batteries separately. All of our drone are RTF including batteries unless otherwise specified.

SD Cards - Most camera drones have the option to insert a SD card. This will save photos and videos taken during the flight, and is usually required to save at the maximum resolution. Not included with the drone.


Waypoint Flight. waypoint is a set of coordinates that identify a specific point in physical space. Drones with waypoint technology typically utilize GPS and GLONASS to create waypoints.  As a drone pilot you can map a desired flight path with waypoints and specify the location and hover duration at each point. On some models you can also save the flight path, which enables you to complete very precise routes and fly repeat missions in the future.

Weight - The total weight of the drone, including the battery.

Wifi - Drones that use WiFi to communicate to a Smartphone use the WiFi built into your smartphone and the drone. It doesn't require another Wifi network, or use your phone providers connection and therefore does not need phone service or use your data allowance. You do need to download an app to use this functionality. 

YAW – This describes the quadcopter rotation around it’s center axis on a level plane.