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Payload – Drone Term of the Week

What is a drone or UAV’s payload?

The technical definition is “the amount of additional weight that a UAV can carry.”

Typically, this has referred to the weight of the camera, since that is the most common installed equipment.

But as drone and UAV technology advances, this meaning is evolving with it!

One of the reasons explaining why the drone market is experiencing a rapid growth is their lifting capacity. Thanks to that, they are able to carry a broad range of sensors, from the tiniest pocket camera to the heaviest measuring devices.

Therefore, knowing precisely the lifting ability a drone possesses is fundamental.

That technical specification is often given under the “Payload” term. However, it seems that not everybody is using this word for the same meaning.

Aeronautical background

To understand better this misconception, let’s have a look at the classical aeronautical terms referring to this subject. As closely related to the commercial drone world, the aviation industry is a perfect guideline:

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The Drone Term of the Week – Do You Know Them All?

By |2020-02-27T19:34:00+00:00February 27th, 2020|Drone News, Drone term of the week|0 Comments

Drone Term of the Week -Collision Avoidance

Does a drone have a brain?

Drone Term of the Week – FC – Flight Controller

A FPV Drone Flight Controller, or FC, is the “brain” of a UAV and controls most onboard electrical components with the assistance on an arduino-like microprocessor and is connected to a number of sensors.

Flight controllers are continuously evolving with their processors becoming faster to keep up with evolving flight controller softwares. Flight controllers are usually titled to include the main microprocessor’s (usually an STM electronics, 32-bit microprocessor) model as this gives the pilot a basic idea of the flight controllers capabilities. The most common microprocessor models used are the STM32 F1, F3, F4 and F7 chips. Essentially, the higher the number after the ‘F’, the faster the microprocessor will be and the more functionality it will have. For any pilot purchasing a flight controller, it is currently recommended to purchase one with an F4 or F7 processor as they are easily fast enough to run the latest FC firmwares. Unfortunately, the F1 is becoming too slow to run the latest FC firmwares and is not recommended to purchase as it will soon become unsupported. F3 boards can currently run the latest flight controller firmwares although the microprocessor is consequently slower than an F4 to F7 at reading and responding to sensor inputs. This reading and response time is respectively known as the gyro update frequency and the PID loop frequency.

From FPV Drone Flight Controller Processors

In this video, @painless360 describes various types of Opensource flight controllers and why you might choose one over another.

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More Drone Terms – Do You Know Them All?

By |2019-10-27T21:54:17+00:00November 2nd, 2019|Drone News, Drone term of the week|0 Comments