What is the difference between a Drone, a UAV and a UAS?

The number of terms being used interchangeably to describe unmanned aircraft can often lead to confusion.  We will attempt to provide a little more clarity about just what is behind a name in the world of Drones, UAVs and UAS.

Perhaps the most common term being used in the media today to describe an unmanned aircraft is a Drone.  Unfortunately the term Drone often carries with it a level of stigma inherited from their controversial military applications on the battlefield.  A more preferable and descriptive term used by proponents of the industry is Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).  Drones and UAVs are considered to be fairly synonymous references although some would contend that a Drone can be differentiated by a level of automation that renders its flight dependent upon pre-programmed behaviors, as opposed to a UAV which is a remotely piloted aircraft flown by “stick and rudder” with a pilot in control.  This point of differentiation, however, remains debatable.

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) on the other hand is a reference term that by definition is clearly distinguished from a Drone or UAV.  A UAS is an all-encompassing description that encapsulates the aircraft or UAV, the ground-based controller, and the system of communications connecting the two. 

Ubimodo promotes the use of this aircraft when used in compliance with FAA Guidelines and Regulations.

For more information visit the FAA website at: https://www.faa.gov/uas/