UAV operations take place in all corners of the world and so UAV manufacturers must ensure that their platforms, including all of the components, are prepared for the extreme environments which may be encountered. Environmental conditions can significantly affect all kinds of aircraft operation and UAV subsystems may be subjected to a broad range of temperatures, icing conditions, extremes of altitude, humidity, sea-salt etc.
Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology is used in UAV systems to measure translational states (position and velocity) both onboard the aircraft and also for the position of the Ground Control Station (GCS).
Since the earliest days of aviation pilots have used a magnetic compass for navigation, using the instrument to show heading information.
Magnetometers used in aviation measure the Earth's magnetic field in order to show orientation. There are of two types: Absolute and Relative (classed by their methods of calibration).
Absolute magnetometers are calibrated using their own known internal constants.
In aerodynamics, the flight envelope defines operational limits for an aerial platform with respect to maximum speed and load factor given a particular atmospheric density. The flight envelope is the region within which an aircraft can operate safely.
1. General. A datalink is a means of transmitting information from one point to another. When the transmission is accomplished using a wireless means, the datalink may also be referred to as a 'radio link' or 'radio modem'.