Vocabulary

Drone

A common term that often refers to an unmanned aerial vehicle. Some use the term for any unmanned or RC system, though most often it refers to systems that fly.

The basic components that make up a drone are

  • Propellers that provide lift as they spin to maneuver the craft
  • Motors that spin the propellers. Older models have been powered by combustible fuels, modern motors are powered by electricity
  • A means of getting the power source to the motors
  • An onboard means of controlling the drone, causing it to move up/down, side to side, etc.
  • A radio receiver that can ‘hear’ a transmitter in the possession of the pilot, relaying controls wirelessly to the drone.

UAV/UAS/sUAS

These are synonymous terms that people substitute for ‘drone’.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle/Systems are drones, many people simply prefer to use these terms to describe the craft. Some terms, such as quadcopter or octocopter, refer to the number of propellers that a drone/UAV/UAS has.

The Cloud

While is sounds really fancy, it’s really not. The cloud typically refers to the Internet, more specifically a place where you keep things. Imagine a magical filing cabinet that fit in your pocket and held anything important that you might want to keep near you. The cloud is essentially a digital version of that, a place where your files are waiting for you.

LiDAR

LiDAR is a type of sensor that basically works by emitting a laser light in various directions and measures the reflection or return of that light to it’s source.

This allows the sensor to create 3d digital maps of it’s environment with laser accurate data. You can watch this quick video  (NOT a Float Production) or you might want to check out the wikipedia page

Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry is essentially the process of gathering measurements from photography. Computer software takes a significant number of pictures that the user inputs and uses the data to create 2d flat maps or 3d maps.

This video, although more focused on the criminal investigation aspects, gives a basic breakdown of how the process works