last updated 29 July 2019
See also Drones in Products
Originally developed for military and special operation applications.
Now used in a small but growing number of civil applications, such as policing and firefighting, and nonmilitary security work, such as surveillance of pipelines, Amazon delivery, Real estate arial photos.
Hobby Drones have become popular around 2015 and fall into 3 categories:
- NANO / MICRO (Toy) Quadcopter Drones - They fit in the palm of your hand and cost less than $70. Some have built-in cameras.
- Hobby quadcopter drones - $70-$500 - They are easier to control due to better on-board sensors and more stable in flight than smaller quadcopter drones because of their larger size. Typically these cool new drones come with a built-in camera or an installed mount that is compatible with the most popular brands of small portable cameras.
A few hobby drones like the DJI spark released in 2017 include built in cameras and features like "Follow Me"
- Professional Quadcopter Drones - Most include an HD on board camera. Well suited for taking aerial photography with longer flight times, typically around 30 minutes or so. Prices start at around $500.00 and can go into the thousands. Most new Professional drones include: Waypoint mission planning, Follow me mode, Return home function and Optical Flow Sensors for indoor flying along with real time telemetry monitoring.
See Summary Of Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule (Part 107) - FAA for more.
- Drones over 0.55 pounds, without the battery and camera, must be registered with the FCC $11.
- Maximum altitude of 400 feet
- Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only.
- Small unmanned aircraft may not operate over any persons
- not directly participating in the operation, not under a
- covered structure.
- Operations in Class B, C, D and E airspace are allowed with
- the required ATC permission.
- Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without ATC
Finding places to fly can be difficult: BR>
How to buy a drone in 2018 - CNET
In New Jersey and work in New York, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to find places to safely -- and legally -- fly. US national parks are off-limits, and in New Jersey so are all state parks. The county and municipal parks around me all have different regulations regarding RC aircraft. And then there are the no-fly zones, which makes much of New York out of bounds as well as just dangerous, because of buildings, people and cars.
Before you buy a drone -- even a toy one if you plan to fly outside -- you'll want to visit AirMap or Mapbox to check no-fly zones for places you intend to fly. In the US, you can also download the FAA's B4UFly app to check your planned location. These don't cover state or local ordinances, though, so you'll still need to check them to see if you're OK to fly.
Federal Aviation Administration - Graphic Temporary Flight Restrictions or TFR
FTV - First-person view - Video Piloting from fpv goggles or a video monitor.
AMA - Academy of Model Aeronautics
ATC - Air Traffic Controller
AUVSI - Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
IMU - Inertial Measurement Unit
QuadCopter - 4 rotor copter
RC - Radio Controlled
RPAS - Remotely Piloted Aerial System
RTF - Ready to Fly
RTH - Return to Home
RPV - Remote-person view (same as FPV)
RPAV - Remotely piloted aerial vehicle
RPAS - remotely piloted aircraft system
Selfi Drone - Drones with simple Point and shoot cameras.
sUAS - Small UAS
TFR temporary flight restrictions or TFR
UAV - Unmanned Arial Vehicle
UAS - Unmanned aircraft system (DoD)
UAVS - unmanned-aircraft vehicle system
VLOS - Visual line-of-sight
Aerial Photography and Drone Glossary | explora | B&H
Drone Reviews in Products
UAS Regstration FAA
B4UFLY Mobile App - FAA
How drones could replace workers on American farms | PBS NewsHour
Feds OK Amazon's delivery drone tests (for real, this time) | PBS NewsHour
Argus camera contains 368 cellphone imaging chips and can pick up a 6 1/2 inch object.
NOVA -| Rise of the Drones