How Do Drones Work
Taking videos using a drone is an incredible way of capturing the beauty of a place or a phenomenon. It gives all viewers a bird’s-eye view of a certain location or event, which is an angle rarely seen unless you are on a plane.
A lot of amateur photographers and videographers are itching to grab hold of this gadget for their craft. People are fascinated whenever they see these little planes or helicopters flying in the sky that they wonder how unmanned drones work.
Drones vary in sizes, parts, and features but they all work using one principle. And you will understand that as you look through the lens of physics.
The basic parts
To understand how drones work, you must know its basic and essential parts. Those parts are actually the factors that affect the aerodynamics (how the air moves around the drone) or how the drone flies.
Namely, they are the type of materials used to build the physical of UAV, circuit boards, and chipset. Aside from this, other important factors are the software, remote control, and the build or design. In general, all drones are divided into two parts, the drone itself and the control system.
A UAV should be made of light and composite materials for increased maneuverability. This will allow the drone to fly at great speed and higher altitudes. On the other hand, they are not necessarily small in size.
You can find various types of drones from extra-small to large multi-rotors and those that have fixed wings. Most multi-rotors can fly vertically, while some fixed-wing drones require a short runway like an airplane does.
A multi-rotor drone has rotors that act like a fan. As the rotors spin, the air is pushed down, causing it to fly vertically. The basic idea is this: The faster the spin, the faster and higher the drone gets, and vice-versa.
In a quadcopter, there are four different rotors or propellers. Each of the rotors is spinning interchangeably in a clockwise and counter-clockwise manner and there is no need for a tail rotor as the Newton’s Third Law of Physics or Torque Reaction requires for a helicopter. Since the propellers are not spinning in the same direction, the flight is more stable.
Ascending and descending the drone is as simple as increasing and decreasing the power. However, a drone is designed for more than one movement.
With this, you can hover or move forward and sideways. And with some modification in the system, you can do all those things. It’s a good thing that you do not have to modify each propeller manually, but instead can control them using your drone control.
Let the computer systems do their thing as you adjust your drone’s direction. However, practicing the perfect hovering or change of direction requires a lot of time.
Other special features
The flight isn’t always smooth, especially if you are a beginner. That’s why most drones have gyro stabilization technology for capturing aerial footage that is not shaky.
The moment you launch the drone, the gyroscope is already working. Aside from this, it also gives navigational information about the forces that destabilize the drone to the flight controller or the central brain of the UAV.
Inertial measurement unit (IMU)
This feature is responsible for detecting the acceleration rate of the drone with the help of accelerometers. It also detects every change in pitch, roll, and yaw by using the gyroscopes. For it to help calibration during an orientation drift, it should have a magnetometer.
Onscreen real-time flight parameters
This is an application for computers and phones that allows you to see the current flight coverage of the drone. Aside from this, the application also helps you keep track of the battery, SD card, and signal status so you can adjust accordingly. GPS satellites, altitude, direction, and flight distance are also shown here.
FPV (first person view) range
This is not a special feature of the drone, rather a basic feature that means your action camera is mounted on the drone. Then, through the software application, the video is broadcasted live while the pilot is on the ground, giving a first-person view of everything the camera sees from above.