An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly referred to as a drone, is an aircraft without any human pilot, crew, or passengers on board. UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), which includes the addition of a ground controller and a communications system with the UAV. While the terms “UAV” and “drone” are often used interchangeably, it is important to note that not all drones are unmanned aerial vehicles. On the other hand, all unmanned aerial vehicles can be considered drones.
The term Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is also used interchangeably with “drone”, but a UAS is a “three-part system”, in which “drone” refers to the aircraft itself. UAS are also known as unmanned aerial systems (UAS), remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), and drones.