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UAV Terminology

Canada Definitions UAV

In this article, we’ll be looking at some common terminology used with UAVs in a commercial capacity. Knowing and understanding these terms will help you become more familiar with the lingo when you are just getting into the field. 

  • Visual Observer – A visual observer is a trained member of the crew that has a visual line of sight on the drone. They are able to assist the operator to help with avoiding collisions and to abide by all of the rules of drone flight.
  • Command and Control – Command and control refers to the data link from the UAV to the control station when flying.
  • Fly Away – A fly away is something that no operator wants to deal with during a flight. It refers to loss of the command and control link, so the pilot is not able to control the UAV. In addition, the UAV is not following the preprogrammed routes and procedures, so you cannot predict the behavior of the machine.
  • Autonomy – This means that the vehicle has its own onboard decision making power. It’s a system that does not allow for interference from the crew members.
  • Aerial work–Aerial work refers to the work that the UAV performs in a commercial manner. This could be for real estate, agriculture, photography, film, search and rescue, and more.
  • Built Up Area – A built up area, according to Transport Canada, refers to any area that has a group of buildings or dwellings.
  • Manufacturer – Manufacturer refers to those companies that design and build UAVs. They can be fully assembled drones, or those that come in a kit.
  • Statement of Conformity – The statement of conformity is a type of document from the manufacturer. It says that the UAV system in question conforms to the type in the declaration of compliance for the make and model. It also attests that there have not been any modifications or alterations.
  • Type Definition – These are the manufacturer’s technical specs, drawings, instructions for assembly, and other material and documents for a model of UAV.


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