How do drones work?

How do drones work?

How do drones work?


Drones have two basic functions: flight mode and navigation.


To fly, drones must have a power source, such as a battery or fuel. They also have rotors, propellers and a frame. The frame of a drone is typically made of a lightweight, composite material to reduce weight and increase manoeuvrability.

Drones require a controller, which lets the operator use remote controls to launch, navigate and land the aircraft. Controllers communicate with the drone using radio waves, such as Wi-Fi.


What are common drone features and components?


Drones have a large number of components, including:


  • Electronic speed controllers, which control a motor’s speed and direction
  • Flight controller
  • GPS module
  • Battery
  • Antenna (interface between radio waves propagating through space and electric currents moving in metal conductors, used with a transmitter or receiver)
  • Receiver
  • Cameras
  • Sensors, including ultrasonic sensors and collision avoidance sensors
  • Accelerometer, which measures the speed
  • Altimeter, which measures altitude

Drone features vary based on the use it is put to.


Examples of features include:


  • Various types of cameras with high-performance, zoom and gimbal Steadicam and tilt capabilities
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) that enables the drone to follow objects
  • Augmented reality features that superimpose virtual objects on the drone’s camera feed
  • Media storage format
  • Maximum flight time, which determines how long the drone can remain in the air
  • Maximum speeds, including ascent and descent
  • Hover accuracy
  • Obstacle sensory range
  • Altitude hold, which keeps the drone at a fixed altitude
  • Live video feed
  • Flight logs


Navigational systems, such as GPS, are typically housed in the nose of a drone. The GPS on a drone communicates its precise location to the controller. An onboard altimeter can communicate altitude information.


The altimeter also helps keep the drone at a specific altitude if the controller designates one.


This article has been sourced by TechTarget


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