Drones: Definition, classification, and component

difference between uav and drone

Drones are becoming more and more popular as technology advances. With their versatility and easy maneuverability, drones are perfect for various tasks. But what exactly are drones? How do they work? And what components do they need to function? It is essential to understand the different types of drones and their components to understand their capabilities and how they work. Exclusively for you who want to start digitalizing the agriculture process using drones. This article will discuss the definition of drones, their classification, and the elements that make up a drone. 

A drone, also known as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), can be remotely controlled or fly autonomously without a human pilot. Drones are typically designed to fly using one or more motors that generate the lift needed to keep them airborne.

Are drones and UAVs the same?

Yes, the terms "drone" and "unmanned aerial vehicle" (UAV) are often used interchangeably to refer to the same type of aircraft. A drone is an aircraft that is operated remotely or autonomously without a pilot on board. UAVs are used for various purposes, including military, commercial, and recreational applications.

Drones and UAVs can be small or large. They can be equipped with various sensors and cameras for different purposes—aerial photography, surveying, mapping, search and rescue, and more.

The term "drone" is sometimes used to refer specifically to smaller unmanned aircraft, while "UAV" is used more broadly to encompass all types of unmanned aircraft, including larger ones. However, the two terms are often used interchangeably.

avirtech d15 agriculture spraying drone

Drones or UAV classifications 

Drones are further classified into size, payload, range, purpose, and control. Drones have various applications in different industries, such as agriculture, delivery, filmmaking, photography, surveying, and mapping. So, you need to keep in mind the drones specification you need to optimize your working. The following are a few standard classifications:

Drones classifications by a range

  • Very close-range drones have a range of 5km and typically use for a hobby such as photography and videography. 

  • Close-range drones can fly up to 50km and be used for surveillance. 

  • Short-range drones have a range of 150km. You can use drones for surveying, mapping, and surveillance. 

  • Mid-range drones have a range of 650km and usually be used for the military and supervision. 

  • Long-range drones have a range of more than 650km. 

Drones classifications by sizes

Based on the drone's physical appearance, you can choose micro drones (weighing less than 250 grams), small drones (weighing between 250 grams and 2 kilograms), medium drones (weighing between 2 and 25 kilograms), and large drones (weighing more than 25 kilograms).

Drones classifications by purpose

You can pick drones based on your primary objectives, such as those used for military operations, commercial applications (such as delivery or inspection), or recreational use.

Drones classifications by control 

Drones can be based on how they are operated remotely by a pilot on the ground or autonomous and capable of following pre-programmed flight paths.

Drones classifications by payload

Drones can also be classified based on their payloads, such as those designed to have cameras or other sensors or carry cargo or other equipment.

Read also: Tips to make your agriculture drones last longer 

What are payloads in drones or UAVs?

In the context of UAVs or drones, a payload refers to the equipment or instruments the drone is carrying or is capable of carrying. Payloads can include various types of equipment, depending on the intended use of the drone. Some common types of payloads for drones include:

  1. Cameras: Drones may be equipped with cameras for capturing photos or video footage.

  2. Sensors: Drones may have various sensors, such as multispectral or hyperspectral sensors, lidar sensors, or weather sensors, to gather data about the environment or specific features or conditions.

  3. Communication equipment: Drones may be equipped with radios, antennas, or other communication equipment to transmit and receive data, such as flight instructions or video feeds, to and from a ground station or remote controller.

  4. Sampling or monitoring equipment: Drones may carry equipment for collecting samples or monitoring conditions, such as water quality sensors, air quality sensors, or soil moisture sensors.

  5. Mapping equipment: Drones may be equipped with lidar sensors or other mapping equipment to create high-resolution maps of topography, vegetation, or other features.

  6. Delivery systems: Drones may be equipped with tanks or other delivery systems for applying pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, or other substances to crops.

    example of drone accessories

Major components of drones or UAVs

Drones have many components, but in general, drones have some significant parts, such as:  

  1. Propulsion system: This includes the motors, propellers, and transmission system that generate the thrust needed for the drone to fly.

  2. Frame: The frame is the structural support for all the other components and determines the shape and size of the drone.

  3. Flight controller: This computer processes data from various sensors and sends signals to the propulsion system to control the drone's movement.

  4. Battery: The battery supplies the power needed to run the drone's motors and other electronic components.

  5. Remote controller: This handheld device allows the operator to control the drone remotely.

  6. Sensors: Drones may have various sensors, such as GPS, gyroscopes, accelerometers, and magnetometers, to help them navigate and maintain stable flight.

  7. Cameras: Some drones are equipped with cameras for capturing photos or video footage.

  8. Communication system: This allows the drone to transmit and receive data, such as flight instructions or video feeds, to and from the remote controller or a ground station.


Based on this objective, drones are widely used for personal and professional purposes. However, for business purposes such as agriculture, you will need a specific drone from Avirtech. Avirtech has drones that can spray and fertilize crops, map plantations, and inspect areas for pests. If you need more information or want a drone consultation specific to your agricultural needs, contact info@avirtech.co.

Posted by : Nurhayati Published At : 22/12/2022 05:36:05


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