Drone tutorial | UAV | Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Basics

This basic drone tutorial on UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) covers what is drone, drone frequencies and drone power levels. The drone tutorial also covers drone hardware components, how drone works, drone applications etc.
In the discussion of Drone UAV we will go through following subtopics:
• The basic definition of drone UAV
• Frequencies used in drone communication
• Power level used in drone
• Hardware components used in making of drone
• Working of drone
• drone applications

What is Drone and UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)?

The small aircraft which operates by itself without any human being is known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. It is also referred by its abbreviation as UAV. It is popularly known as Drone.

The drone can be either remotely controlled or it can travel as per predefined path using complex automation algorithm built during its development.

In general, UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) is the combination of Drone in the air and control system on the ground.

Drone Frequencies and Drone Power Levels

Drone operates at RF frequecies of 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz. One of these frequencies is used to control aircraft from ground system while the other frequency is used to beam or relay video FPV. The common frequencies used in FPV video transmission are 900MHz, 1.2GHz, 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz. Following table mentions required power levels in drone communication.

Maximum Power ISM Band
For Civilian Drone
36dBm EIRP
Maximum Transmitted Power 1 Watt i.e. 30 dBm
Minimum SNR 4dB (Data)

Drone Hardware components used in making of drone UAV

drone components
Figure-1: Drone Hardware components

The figure-1 depicts major parts of a drone. As shown it consists of body, frame, propellers and controller. Different drone components are housed in all these drone parts as described below.

Drone Body: The body houses battery power supply, control system and sensors. Gyroscope and accelerometer are used as sensors in drone for stabilization purpose. Advanced drone UAV consists of camera and wifi transmitter/receiver including high gain directional antenna.
Refer Drone Sensors➤.
Drone Frame: The frame is made of nylon and carbon fiber materials. Due to this fact drone is strong and light weight. The frame is used to hold shell of the body and frame bars. It holds propellers. Landing gears used for landing are mounted at the end of frame bars.
Propellers: They are used to produce force to lift the drone in the air. They are powered using motors. Total 4 motors are needed for 4 propellers. These motors are powered using battery. Total four number of propellers are needed, two for clockwise movement and the other two for counter clockwise movement.

Controller:This drone UAV based controller consists of circuitry to control wifi transmission and reception, circuitry to adjust speed of each propeller and circuitry to have communication with ground based control system. This is needed to have control on the movement of drone. The controller part uses microcontroller and drivers needed to have controlling functionality using remote control or as per pre-defined route path.

How Drone Works

Drone working
Figure-2: How drone works

The figure-2 depicts working operation of drone UAV. There are three modes of motion to pilot the drone viz. Lift, Yaw and Pitch.
• Lift has ability to fly drone upwards. All the propellers should rotate at same speed to direct drone vertically.
• Yaw provides rotation about center of XY plane.
• Pitch provides rotation other than center of XY plane. It provides rotation about X-axis or Y-axis or both.

As mentioned above there are two frequencies involved in the operation of drone or UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). One is used for controlling the drone from the ground system and the other is specifically used for video or image transmission.

Following are the buttons typically provided on drone remote controller.
• 1-Antennas: used to relay aircraft control and video signal.
• 2-Mobile phone handler
• 3-Control stick which controls movement and orientation of drone
• 4-Return to Home Button
• 5-Displays battery level of remote controller.
• 6-System status
• 7-Power button to turn drone power ON/OFF
• 8-RTH status LED indicator

Drone UAV Applications

Following are the applications of a drone UAV:
• Used in search and rescue operations during fire, earth quakes etc.
• Inspections of wind turbines, pipelines, powerlines etc.
• Used in security and surveillance operations during public events, protests etc.
• Used during science and research purposes.
• Used for aerial photography and aerial video of unreachable places.
• Used in unmanned cargo system

Hope this drone tutorial would have provided information related to what is drone UAV, drone hardware components, drone frequencies, drone power levels and how drone works.
Refer Drone Vendors and Suppliers➤.

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