US Drone Law
Cutting Edge Legal Analysis for
Cutting Edge Drone Technology
US Drone Law is not a law firm. The contents of this site do not represent legal advice and are for informational purposes only.
Wonders Never Cease!
The federal government actually created a simple, quick, convenient, and inexpensive drone registration process! Take five minutes and get your drone registered. Get Registered
Frequently Asked Questions
For all practical purposes, there is no difference between the terms UAS, sUAS, UAV, and drone. A UAS is an “unmanned aircraft system,” which is just the government’s fancy word for a drone and the components used to fly the drone (e.g. controller, etc). If we wanted to be sticklers, we would say that a drone is just an unmanned aircraft (UA). Federal law defines an unmanned aircraft as “an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft”. The FAA seems to prefer the term UAS of UA.nnAn sUAS is a subcategory of all UAS and stands for “small unmanned aircraft system.” sUAS are drones that weighs more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds. UAV stands for unmanned aerial vehicle and is yet another acronym for those drone enthusiasts who enjoy the more technical jargon. Unmanned aircraft, UAS, sUAS, and UAV are all often referred to simply as “drones.”
You have a couple options here. You should start by looking at the weight listed on the drone’s manufacture. Keep in mind that if you make any modifications those changes in weight won’t be reflected in the weight on the packaging. If you no longer have the packaging, you can always visit the manufacturer’s website. The manufacture will generally have the drone weight listed among the product details for your particular model. Finally, you can always defer a consumer kitchen or postal scale that measures in ounces or grams. This final method is actually preferred if you have made any modifications to your drone.
Most manufacturers list the drone weight on the packaging. However, keep in mind that this weight could change if you modify the drone by adding a camera, batteries, or anything else. If you have concerns about your drone’s weight then put your mind at ease by weighing the drone on a simple kitchen or postal scale.
Yes. The online registration may only be used by owners of small drones (called small unmanned aircraft systems or sUAS in the official regulations) that weigh more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds.