Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is the abbreviation of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). It is an unmanned aircraft using radio remote control equipment and self-contained program control device, including unmanned helicopter, fixed wing aircraft, multi rotor aircraft, unmanned airship and unmanned parafoil aircraft. Broadly speaking, it also includes near space vehicles (20-100km airspace), such as Stratospheric Airships, high altitude balloons, solar powered UAVs, etc.

From a certain point of view, UAV can complete complex air flight tasks and various load tasks under the condition of pilotless, which can be regarded as “Aerial Robot”.

According to different platform configurations, UAVs can be divided into three platforms: fixed wing UAV, unmanned helicopter and multi rotor UAV.

Fixed wing UAV is the mainstream platform of military and most civil UAVs, which is characterized by fast flight speed; unmanned helicopter is the most flexible UAV platform, which can take off and hover vertically in situ; Multi rotor (multi axis) UAV is the preferred platform for consumer and some civil applications. Its flexibility is intermediate between fixed wing and helicopter (take-off and landing requires thrust), but its operation is simple and its cost is low.

According to different application fields, UAVs can be divided into three categories: military, civil and consumer

(1) Military UAV has higher requirements for sensitivity, flight speed and intelligence, and is the highest level UAV, including reconnaissance, decoy, electronic countermeasures, communication relay, target aircraft and UAV;

(2) Civil UAVs generally have low requirements for speed, lift and range, but they have high requirements for personnel operation training and comprehensive cost. Therefore, it is necessary to form a mature industrial chain to provide parts and support services as low as possible. At present, the biggest market for civil UAVs lies in the provision of government public services, such as police, fire fighting, electricity, meteorology, etc, It accounts for about 70% of the total demand. For high-voltage power specialty, UAV is currently used in the inspection of overhead power lines, substations and distribution facilities, fault finding, elimination of minor defects, and wire laying. With the update and iteration of UAV technology, more and more aspects will be applied to power specialty in the future;

(3) Consumer UAVs generally use low-cost multi rotor platform for aerial photography, games and other leisure purposes.

History of UAV development

China started early and developed rapidly in recent years: in the 1980s, China tried to use its self-developed UAV (derived from military aircraft) in mapping and geological exploration. In recent years, Qianzhong No.1 UAV specially developed for civilian use has successfully made its first flight in 2010. The 2011 domestic bee No.28 UAV can take off, land, hover and route planning independently, and can apply agricultural spraying, power inspection, disaster prevention and emergency response, aerial mapping, relay communication, etc.

For the civil field, UAV is only a flight platform, and its function in the final analysis is to be completed by the task load equipment in the airborne system. At present, the maturity of hardware industry chain and the decrease of cost create conditions for the outbreak of Civil & Consumer UAV. In recent ten years, the rise of civil and consumer UAV market is closely related to the maturity of hardware industry chain and the continuous decrease of cost curve. With the rise of mobile terminal, chip, battery, inertial sensor, communication chip and other industry chains are rapidly mature and the cost is decreasing, which makes intelligent UAV become more and more popular In this way, we can quickly move towards smaller, low-power devices. This also creates a good condition for the rapid innovation and cost reduction of UAV hardware.


At present, a high-performance FPGA chip can realize the function of Dual CPU in UAV to meet the information fusion of navigation sensors and realize the optimal control of UAV.

Inertial sensor

With the extensive application of accelerometers, gyroscopes, geomagnetic sensors, MEMS inertial sensors and so on in handheld devices, 6-axis and 9-axis inertial sensors have gradually replaced a single sensor, further reducing the cost and power consumption, with the cost only a few dollars. In addition, the GPS chip weighs only 0.3 g and costs less than $5.

WiFi and other wireless communication

WiFi and other communication chips are used to control and transmit image information. The speed and quality of communication transmission can fully meet the demand of kilometer transmission.


With the continuous increase of battery energy density, the endurance of UAV can reach 25-30 minutes under the condition of maintaining a relatively light weight, which can meet some basic applications. In addition, the rise of hybrid oil and electricity technology and induction charging technology can make a qualitative leap in the dead time of UAV.

Camera and other mounting equipment

In recent years, mobile terminals also promote the rapid improvement of high-pixel camera performance and cost reduction.

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