How does an unmanned aerial vehicle work?

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is defined as a motorized aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator, uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be remotely piloted, can be disposable or recoverable, and can carry a lethal or non-lethal payload. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is an aircraft that does not carry passengers or human pilots. UAVs, sometimes called drones, can be fully or partially autonomous, but more often they are remotely controlled by a human pilot. RAND research has contributed to public discussion on the use of drones for war and surveillance.

The future of aviation is here. The FAA is collaborating with industry and communities to advance drone operations and integrate them into national airspace. Whether you're flying for fun or work, get the rules, resources, and tools to help you fly safely. A very simple description of a UAV drone is that it is a flying computer with a camera or sensor connected.

Like computers, drones have firmware software, which sends commands to the aircraft's physical components or to the remote control. Unmanned vehicles are growing in popularity, especially unmanned aerial vehicles, autonomous cars, and various types of private consumer drones. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), remotely controlled, autonomously guided military aircraft, or both, and carrying sensors, target designators, offensive devices, or electronic transmitters designed to interfere with or destroy enemy targets. An alternative term is Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), while the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) refers to machines of this type as Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA).

The authors examine the logistical and sustainment aspects of an emerging operational concept to employ a family of unmanned aerial vehicles that can be launched, recovered and maintained with minimal dependence on runways. The two areas of regulatory oversight of UAS safety, operations and airworthiness of UAVs, are being supervised supranationally by the Joint Authorities for the Elaboration of Standards on Unmanned Systems (JARUS). Unmanned aerial vehicle technology covers everything from the aerodynamics of the drone, the materials in the manufacture of the physical UAV, to the circuit boards, chipset and software, which are the brain of the drone. FPV allows unmanned aerial vehicles to fly very easily indoors, or through forests and around buildings.

In this report, RAND researchers explore current and potential military applications of autonomous systems, with a special focus on unmanned submarine vehicles and unmanned surface vehicles. The following video explains both the present and the future of the science and technology behind unmanned military aerial vehicles, such as the Predator and the Reaper. A video camera is mounted on the unmanned aerial vehicle and this camera transmits the live video to the pilot on the ground. The nose of the unmanned aerial vehicle is where all the sensors and navigation systems are present.

In the field of remote sensing, UAVs are helping to quickly replace conventional aerial photography (photogrammetry) by providing high spatial resolution aerial images (orthophotos) of the Earth's surface. The Dronecode Project is an open source collaborative project that brings together existing and future open source unmanned aerial vehicle projects under a non-profit structure governed by The Linux Foundation.

Colton Morford
Colton Morford

Avid student. Evil bacon fanatic. Total bacon fan. Passionate internet practitioner. Amateur internet advocate. Proud travel evangelist.

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