Drone abbreviations

Drone – Main Abbreviations


This article will explain the main abbreviations used in connection with drones by manufacturers, public organizations, operators and associations.

You will find an abbreviation which you are looking for in the table below.

ACAdvisory Circular
AECAirspace Encounter Category
AEHAirborne Electronic Hardware
AGLAbove Ground Level (Altitude above Ground Level)
AHAltitude Hold
AHRSAttitude and Heading Reference System
AIAAArea of Intense Aerial Activity
AICAeronautical Information Circular
AIPAeronautical Information Package / Aeronautical Information Publication
AIRPROXA near collision between two aircraft
AISAeronautical Information Service / Automatic Identification System
AMAAcademy of Model Aeronautics
AMCAcceptable Means of Compliance
AMSLAbove Mean Sea Level
ANSPAir Navigation Service Provider
AOAirspace Observer
AOAAngle of Attack
APAerial Photography
ARCAir Risk Class. Part of the SORA.
ARFAlmost Ready to Fly
ARNAviation Reference Number
ARTF or ARFAlmost Ready To Fly
ASSNApplication Specific Sensor Node
ATCAir Traffic Control
ATISAutomatic Terminal Information Service
ATMAir Traffic Management
ATSAir Traffic Service. For example weather information en route.
ATTI ModeAttitude Mode
ATZAerodrome Traffic Zone / Air Traffic Zone
AUVSIAssociation for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
AUWAll Up Weight
AWOAerial Work Operation
BARBarometric Altimeter
BAROBarometric Altimeter
BECBattery Elimination Circuit
BLOSBeyond line of sight
BNFBind N Fly
BPSBarometric Pressure Sensor
BVLOSBeyond Visual Line of Sight
CAACivil Aviation Act 1988 / Civil Aviation Authority
CAPCivil Aviation Publication
CARCivil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998
CASACivil Aviation Safety Authority
CFCarbon Fiber
CG or COGCenter of Gravity
CLARCCASA Licencing and Registration Centre
COACertificate of Authorization
ConOpsConcept of Operations
CPUCentral Processing Unit
CTAControlled Airspace / Control Area
CTRControl Zone / Controlled Traffic Region
C2Command and Control
C3Command, Control and Communication
D&A or DAADetect and Avoid
DGDirect georeferencing
DGACFrench Directorate for Civil Aviation
DGPSDifferential Global Positioning System
DIYDo It Yourself
DJIShenzhen DJI Sciences and Technologies Ltd, which stands for Da-Jiang Innovations
DRLDrone Racing League
DSMDigital Spectrum Modulation
DSSSDirect-Sequence Spread Spectrum
D&A or DAADetect and Avoid
EASAEuropean Union Aviation Safety Agency
ECAEmergency Controlling Authority
EEAEuropean Economic Area
EEPROMElectronically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory
EFBElectronic Flight Bag
EMIElectromagnetic Interference
ERPEmergency Response Plan
ERSAEnroute Supplement Australia
ESCElectronic Speed Control
EUEuropean Union
EVLOSExtended Visual Line of Sight
FAA – United StatesFederal Aviation Administration
FARFederal Aviation Regulations
FCFlight Controller
FCBFlight Control Board
FCCFederal Communications Commission
FHSSFrequency Hopping Spread Spectrum
FIRFlight Information Region
FMRAFAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 Subtitle B pertains to Unmanned Aircraft systems
FLFlight Level
FLIRForwarding Looking InfraRed
FOVField of View
FPVFirst-Person View
GCPGround Control Point
GCSGround Control Station / Ground Control System
GMGuidance Material
GISGeographic Information System
GLONASSGlobalnaya Navigazionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema, or Global Navigation Satellite System
GNSSGlobal Navigation Satellite System
GPSGlobal Positioning System
GRCGround Risk Class. Part of the SORA
HIRTAHigh Intensity Radio Transmission Area
HLSHelicopter Landing Site
HMIHuman Machine Interface
ICAOInternational Civil Aviation Organization
IFRInstrumental Flight Rules
ILTThe Netherlands Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate / Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport. The CAA in the Netherlands.
I.M.S.A.F.E.Illness, Medicines, Stress, Alcohol, Fatigued, Eating
IMUInertial Measurement Unit
INSInertial Navigation System
IOCIntelligent Orientation Control
ISMIndustrial, Scientific and Medical
JARUSJoint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems
LAANCLow Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability system
LiDARLight Detection and Ranging
Li-IonLithium Ion
LIPOLithium Polymer battery, aka LiPoly
LMLanding mass
LOSLine Of Sight
LVNLLuchtverkeersleiding Nederland (Air Traffic Control In the Netherlands)
LWLanding weight
mAhmilli Amp hours
MAVMicro Air Vehicle
MAVLinkThe Micro Air Vehicle communications protocol
MCCMulti-Crew Cooperation
MCUMicro Controller Unit
MEFMaximum Elevation Figure
METARMeteorological Terminal Aviation Routine Weather Report or Meteorological Aerodrome Report
MGTOWMaximum Gross Takeoff Weight
MLMean level
MSLMean Sea Level
MTOMMaximum Take-Off Mass
MTOWMaximum Take-Off Weight
MTW Maximum Take-Off Weight
NAANational Aviation Authority
NASNational Airspace System
NOTAMNotice to Airmen or Notice to Air Missions (US wording)
NPRMNotice of Proposed Rulemaking
NTSBNational Traffic Safety Board
O3 TransmissionO3 (OcuSync 3.0) image transmission technology
OAOperational Authorisation
OASObstacle Avoidance System
OMOperations Manual
OSCOperational Safety Case
OSDOn-Screen Display
OSOOperational Safety Objective
PCBPrinted circuit board
PDBPower Distribution Board
PDRAPredefined Risk Assessment
PfCOPermission for Commercial Operation
PICPilot in Command or Person In Charge
PID controllerProportional–Integral–Derivative controller
POIPoint of Interest
PPKPost-Processing Kinematic
PWMPulse Width Modulation
RBORisk-Based Oversight
RCRemote Control / Radio Controller
RCAPARemote Control Aerial Photography Association
RCPRequired Communication Performance
ReOCRemotely Piloted Aircraft Operator’s Certificate
RePLRemote Pilot Licence
RFRadio Frequency
RFIRadio-frequency interference
RLPRequired C2 Link Performance
RMZRadio Mandatory Zone
RPRemote Pilot
RPARemotely Piloted Aircraft
RPASRemotely Piloted Aircraft System
RPAVRemotely Piloted Aerial Vehicle
RPMRevolutions Per Minute
RPSRemote Pilot Station
RPVRemotely Piloted Vehicle
ROARemotely Operated Aircraft
RSSIReceived Signal Strength Indicator
RTCARadio Technical Commission for Aeronautics
RTFReady to Fly
RTKReal-Time Kinetics
RTLReturn to Launch
RTHReturn to Home
RxRadio Receiver
SAASense and Avoid
SAILSpecific Assurance and Integrity Level
SARSearch and Rescue
SERAStandardized European Rules of the Air
SHFSuper High Frequency (3 GHz – 30 GHz)
SMMSafety Management Manual
SORASpecific Operational Risk Assessment
SPECIAviation Selected Special Weather Code in (aeronautical) meteorological code
STSStandard Scenario
SUASmall Unmanned Aircraft
sUASsmall Unmanned Aircraft System
SUSASmall Unmanned Surveillance Aircraft
TAFTerminal Area Forecast
TCASTraffic Collision Avoidance System
TFRTemporary Flight Restriction
TGBTijdelijk Gebied met Beperkingen (temporary area with local restrictions)
TKATransport Competence Agency (Lithuania)
TMATerminal Control Area / Terminal Manoeuvring Area
TMPRTactical Mitigation Performance Requirement
TMZTransponder Mandatory Zone
TRATemporary Reserved Area / Temporary Reserved Airspace
TSATemporary Segregated Area
TxRadio Transmitter
UAUnmanned Aircraft
UAQUnmanned Aircraft Qualification
UASUnmanned Aircraft System / Unmanned Airborne System
UAVUnmanned Aerial Vehicle
UAVSUnmanned Aircraft Vehicle System
UAVSAUnmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association
UDPUniform Daylight Period
UHFUltra High Frequency (300 MHz – 3 GHz)
UNUnited Nations
UOCUnmanned Operator’s Certificate
UTMUnmanned Traffic Management
VFRVisual Flight Rules
VLLVery Low Level
VLOSVisual Line of Sight
VMCVisual Meteorological Conditions
VOVisual Observer (spotter)
VOLMETFrench words “vol” (flight) and “météo” (weather)
VTOLVertical Takeoff and Landing
VRSVortex Ring State
VRxVideo Receiver
VTXVideo Transmitter
WAASWide Area Augmentation System
WGSWorld Geodetic System
WMOWorld Meteorological Organization
YAWQuadcopter rotation around it’s center axis on a level plane


There are many technical abbreviations used within the drone industry as a result of its rapid spread. We hope that you found the abbreviation you were looking for.

Please leave the comment if you did not find it. We will add it to this list.

Thank you for reading.

If you like to read more you can check other articles on our website:

Drone – Main terms

If you interested in DIY projects with Raspberry PI and Arduino visit Acoptex.com.

Last update: 07/12/2021


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