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Glossary of Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles Definitions and Terms

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Glossary of Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles Definitions and Terms

The following acronyms and definitions are useful for understanding Unmanned Aircraft Systems including UAS Definitions, Concepts & General UAS Principles.

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. Its flight is controlled either autonomously by computers in the vehicle, or under the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle. There are a wide variety of drone shapes, sizes, configurations, and characteristics. Historically, UAVs were simple remotely piloted aircraft, but autonomous control is increasingly being employed.


1. Acronyms and Abbreviations. The following acronyms are used for the purpose of this agreement.


ACCS Army Command and Control System (US)/Air Command and Control System (NATO)
Accel Acceleration
ACK Acknowledge
ACM Airspace Control Means
ACO Airspace Control Order
ADatP-3 Allied Data Publication – 3
ADS Automatic Dependent Surveillance
ADT Air Data Terminal
ADU Air Defence Unit
AGL Above Ground Level
AMPS Aviation Mission Planning System
AMPN Amplification
ANSI American National Standards Institute
AOA Angle Of Attack
AOI Area Of Interest
AP Allied Publication/Alliance Publication
API Application Program(ming) Interface
ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange
ASM Air Space Management
ASW Anti-Submarine Warfare
ATC Air Traffic Control
ATP Allied Tactical Publication
ATR Automatic Target Recognition
ATS Air Traffic Services
AV Air Vehicle
AVC Air Vehicle Control

BDA Battle Damage Assessment
BER Bit Error Rate
BIT Built-in-Test
BITE Built-in-Test Equipment
BLOS Beyond Line of Sight
BOM Bit-Oriented Message

C2 Command and Control
C4I Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence
CBIT Continuous Built-in-Test
CBRN Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear
CCI Command & Control Interface
CCISM Command and Control Interface Specific Module
CDL Common Data Link
CEN European Standardisation Organisation
CEP Circular Error Probability
CFOV Centre Field of View
CG Centre of Gravity
CGS Common Ground Segment/Common Ground Station/Common Ground System
CIRC Circular
CJTF Combined Joint Task Force
CL Connectionless
Cm Centimetres
CO Connection Oriented
COE Common Operating Environment
CONOPS Concept of Operations
COP Common Operational Picture
CORBA Common Object Request Broker Architecture
COTS Commercial-Off-The-Shelf
CR Communications Relay
CRD Common Route Definition
CRT Cathode Ray Tube
CUCS Core UAV Control System

DC Direct Current
DCE Distributed Computing Environment
DCM Data Link Control Module
DIGEST Digital Geographic Information Exchange Standard
DII Defence Information Infrastructure
DII/COE Defence Information Infrastructure/Common Operating Environment
DIN Deutsche Institut fur Normung
DL Data Link
DLI Data Link Interface
DoD Department of Defence
DTED Digital Terrain Elevation Data


ECM Electronic Counter Measures
EIA Electronic Industries Association
EIA/IS EIA Interim Standard
ELINT Electronic Intelligence
EMCON Emission Control
EO Electro-Optical
EO/IR Electro Optical/Infrared
EP External pilot
ERF Ego-Referenced Frame
ERS Emergency Recovery System
ESM Electronic Support Measures
ETA Estimated Time of Arrival
ETSI European Telecommunications Standards Institute
EW Electronic Warfare

FLIR Forward Looking Infrared
FOB Forward Operations Base
FOV Field of View
FT Flight Termination
FTP File Transfer Protocol

GDT Ground Data Terminal
GMT Greenwich Mean Time
GMTI Ground Moving Target Indicator
GOTS Government Off-The-Shelf
GPS Global Positioning System
GUI Graphical User Interface

HALE High Altitude, Long Endurance
HCI Human-Computer Interface
HF High Frequency
HSI Hyperspectral Imagery
HL Hand Launched
HTML Hyper Text Mark-up Language
HTTP Hypertext Transfer Protocol
Hz Hertz, cycles per second

I/O Input/Output
IA International Agreement
ICAO International Civil Aviation Organisation
ID Identification
IDD Interface Design Description/Interface Definition Document
IEA Information Exchange Agreements
IEC International Enterprise Committee/International Electro technical Commission
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
IER Information Exchange Requirements
IES Imagery Exploitation System
IETF Internet Engineering Task Force
IFF Identification Friend or Foe
IL Image Library
INS Inertial Navigation System
IP Internet Protocol/Internal Pilot
IPS Image Print Services
IPX NetWare Transport Protocol
IR Infrared
IRS Interface Requirements Specifications
ISAR Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar
ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network
ISG Industry Support Group
ISO International Organisation for Standardisation
ISO/CD Committee Draft of ISO
ISO/DIS Draft International Standard of ISO
ISR Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance
ISTAR Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance
ITDP International Technology Demonstration Program
ITU International Telecommunication Union
ITU-T(SB) International Telecommunications Union – Telecommunications (Standardisation Bureau)

JFACC Joint Force Air Component Commander
JFC Joint Force Commander
JPEG Joint Photographic Experts Group
JSH JASA Standards Handbook
JSWG JASA Standards Working Group
JTA Joint Technical Architecture
JTF Joint Task Force
JTFC Joint Task Force Commander

Kilo 1,000
Km Kilometres


L&R Launch and Recovery
L-16 Link-16 (TADIL-J message standard)
LIDAR Light Detection And Ranging
LAN Local Area Network
LAS Local Access Subsystem
LB Land-Based
LCD Liquid Crystal Display
LOI Level of Interoperability
LOS Line of Sight
LRF Laser Range Finder

MAV Micro Air Vehicle
Mb Megabit
MB Megabyte
Mb/s Megabits per second
MB/s Megabytes per second
Met Meteorological
MGRS Military Grid Reference System
MIJI Meaconing, Intrusion, Jamming, and Interference
MIL Military
MIL-STD Military Standard
MIME Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension
MIN Minimum
MMP Modular Mission Payload
MMS Manufacturing Messaging Specification
MOA Memorandum of Agreement
MOTS Military Off-The-Shelf
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
MP Mission Planning/Mission Planner
MPEG Motion Pictures Experts Group
MPO Mission Planning Operator/Mission /Payload Operator
MPS Metres per second
MSE Mobile Subscriber Equipment
Msg Message
MSI Multi-Spectral Imagery
MSK Minimum Shift Keying
MSL Mean Sea Level
MTF Message Text Formats
MTI Moving Target Indicator

N/A Not Applicable
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
NBC Nuclear, Biological and Chemical
NC3TA NATO C3 Technical Architecture
NCIS NATO Common Interoperability Standards
NCOE NATO Common Operating Environment
NCSP NC3 Common Standards Profile
Near RT Near Real Time
NED NATO Effective Date
NIIA NATO ISR Interoperability Architecture
NIMP NATO Interoperability Management Plan
NIIRS National Imagery Interpretation Rating Scale
NIPD NATO Interoperability Planning Document
NITF National Imagery Transmission Format
NITFS National Imagery Transmission Format Standard
Nm Nanometre
NNAG NATO Naval Armaments Group
NOSIP NATO Open System Interconnection Profile
NOTS NATO Off-The-Shelf
NRT Non-Real Time
NSA NATO Standardisation Agency
NSE Non-Standard Equipment
NSIF NATO Secondary Imagery Format
NSIL NATO Standard Image Library
NSILI NATO Standard Image Library Interface
NSR NATO Staff Requirements
NTF Network File Server
NTIS NATO Technical Interoperability Standards
NTSC National Transmission Standards Committee

OPFOR Opposing Force
OPS Operations
OSE Open System Environment
OSI Open System Interconnection (model)
OTH Over The Horizon
OTH-T Over The Horizon – Targeting

PDF Portable Document Format
PDU Power Distribution Unit
PG/35 Project Group 35
PO Payload Operator
Pyld Payload


QoS Quality of Service

Rad Radians
RAID Redundant Array of Inexpensive/Independent Disks
RECCEXRE Reconnaissance Exploitation Report
RF Radio Frequency
RFC Request for Comment
ROS Relief on Station/Rules of Safety
RP Route Plan
Rpt Report
RT Real Time
RTP Real Time Protocol/ Real-Time Processor
Rx Receive

SA Situational Awareness
SALUTE Size, Activity, Location, Unit, Time, Equipment
SAR Synthetic Aperture Radar/Search And Rescue
SATCOM Satellite Communications
SB Sea-based
SEC Seconds
SED Signal External Descriptor
SIGINT Signals Intelligence
SINCGARS Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System
SMPTE Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
SNR Signal-to-Noise Ratio
ST Specialist Team
STANAG (NATO) Standardization Agreement

TBD To Be Defined
TCDL Tactical Common Data Link
TCP/IP Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
Tgt Target
TV Television
TX Transmit

UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehicle/Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle
UB Unified Build
UCAV Unmanned/ Uninhabited Combat Aerial Vehicle
UDP User Datagram Protocol
UES UAV Exploitation System
UHF Ultra High Frequency
UI User Interface
UJTL Universal Joint Task List
UPS Uninterruptible Power Supply
URL Uniform Resource Locator
USIS United States Imagery Standards
USMTF United States Message Text Formatting
UTC Universal Time Coordinated
UTM Universal Transverse Mercator

VCR Video Cassette Recorder
VDL VHF Data Link
VDU Visual Display Unit
VHF Very High Frequency
VISP Video Imagery Standards Profile
VMAP Vector Map
VMF Variable Message Format
VSM Vehicle-Specific Module

WAN Wide Area Network
WAS Wide Area Subsystem
WGS-84 World Geodetic System – 84
WIMP Windows, Icons, Mouse and Pull-down/pop-up (menus)
WP Waypoint
WRF World-Referenced Frame

XML Extended Mark-up Language

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