Glossary
Microdrones from A to Z


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


B

BVLOS
an acronym that stands for Beyond the Visual Line of Sight and refers to the act of flying the drone beyond the point where it can be visually detected by the pilot on the ground.


C

Carbon Fiber
an extremely strong, lightweight material known for its superior durability and resistance to heat and corrosion. The bodies of Microdrones UAVs are constructed from carbon fiber.

Corridor Mapping
an application that involves mapping extremely long, narrow areas or structures, like roads, railways, oil and gas pipelines, retaining walls, etc. Microdrones direct georeferencing and LiDAR solutions are especially beneficial for corridor mapping.


D

Drone
an unmanned aircraft that can fly autonomously.

Direct georeferencing (DG)
a highly accurate and efficient method of connecting aerial images to their position on the Earth and putting them together in the most precise possible order. DG accomplishes this by measuring each image’s 3D coordinates and orientation angles via a GNSS receiver and an inertial measurement unit, rather than computing some or all of these (as is done in methods like traditional surveying/aerial triangulation, RTK, or PPK). Direct georeferencing reduces the amount of time required to collect and post-process data and eliminates the need for ground control points.


F

Fixed Wing
drones that look and function like traditional airplanes, with two wings that generate lift through the aircraft’s forward movement. Delair-Tech is Microdrones’ fixed wing drone partner.


G

Geotagging
including geographic information in the metadata of a photo, so those processing the images can more easily determine the precise position of points in the image. Microdrones offers a free tool called mdGeotager to help users simplify this process.

Gimbal
a mount that holds the sensor on the aircraft and pivots around a single axis, ensuring the sensor is always pointing at the same angle, regardless of the orientation angle of the drone. Some mdMapper packages feature our custom brushless gimbal, which helps to improve data accuracy.

GNSS
an acronym for Global Navigation Satellite System, GNSS is an autonomous positioning system with global coverage, including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, and other regional satellite positioning systems around the world.

Ground Control Points (GCPs)
points positioned on the surface of the Earth in known locations and used to georeference collected data. Surveyors and other geospatial professionals often install many ground control points for large projects to ensure accuracy. With a direct georeferencing UAV mapping solution, no ground control points are necessary.


I

Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)
a device that measures and communicates the aircraft’s specific force, orientation angle, angular rate, and magnetic field. In Microdrones direct georeferencing solutions, the IMU is part of the Applanix APX-15 UAV component, which combines an IMU with a GNSS receiver. Together, these devices allow for extremely accurate, quick, and efficient georeferencing.


L

LiDAR
an acronym for Light Detection and Ranging, LiDAR is a method of remote sensing that uses light in laser form to measure distances to the earth.

Linear mapping
see corridor mapping.


M

Manual mode
a mode of flight in which a human pilot controls the aircraft in real time, rather than setting up waypoints that guide the flight autonomously.

mdCockpit
Microdrones’ easy-to-use software and Android tablet app that simplifies flight planning, monitoring, and analysis.

Mission
a pre-planned flight aimed to achieve a specific purpose, such as the collection of data or images.


P

Part 107
the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule, which allows drones less than 55 lbs. (25 kg.) to be flown for commercial purposes according to legal operational limits. Some of these limits include pilot licensure requirements and hours, height, and distance from the pilot that the drone may be flown.

Payload
anything carried by an aircraft that generates revenue, like cameras or sensors.

Photogrammetry
the science and art of using images to make measurements, usually for surveying, mapping, and modeling purposes.

Post-processing
using software to transform georeferenced data into a more usable deliverable like a 3-D model or orthomosaic.

PPK
an acronym for post processed kinematic, PPK is a GPS-based position location process whereby geospatial data collected by a moving device can be adjusted for accuracy after collection using corrections from a base station.


Q

Quadcopter
a rotary drone with four rotors.


R

Resume Flight
system feature that allows the drone to resume the mission at the last waypoint where it left off before pausing for a battery change or any other reason. This is especially helpful in commercial applications like surveying, mapping, and inspection.

Rotary
a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft, such as a helicopter or multi-rotor drone.

RTK
an acronym for real-time kinematic, RTK is a georeferencing method that seeks to improve the accuracy of data obtained from global satellite positioning systems by detecting the phase of a signal’s carrier wave and utilizing real-time corrections from a reference/base station.


S

Sensor
a device that responds to a detected (or sensed) physical stimulus by performing a set task. Most of the sensors onboard Microdrones UAS perform measurements and data collection.

Sidelap
the percentage of an image that must overlap with adjacent images to allow for accurate georeferencing.

Small UAV
an unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 lbs. (25 kg.) that can be used for commercial applications according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107 legislation. Small UAV must be operated during daylight hours, never directly above other persons, and within the licensed operator’s visual line of sight.


U

UAV
an acronym for unmanned aerial vehicle, a UAV is an unmanned aircraft that can fly autonomously; a drone.

UAS
an acronym for unmanned aerial system, UAS refers to the combined aircraft, the controller on the ground, and the telemetry (communication device) between the two.


V

VTOL
an acronym for Vertical Take-Off and Landing, a term used to describe a type of aircraft that lifts straight upward into the air and hovers, like a helicopter or multi-rotor/quadcopter drone. Microdrones developed the world’s first commercial VTOL UAV.


W

Waypoint
coordinates that guide the path a drone will fly. Each set waypoint marks the end of a leg of the mission.