What’s in a name? Well, in the case of UAV and UAS it seems that people like to interchange these, myself included, but some recent work on a position statement by the TRB AFB80 committee that we intend to send to the FAA revealed a better approach. By the way, this position statement points out that the professional surveying and mapping community has been safely operating in National Air Space for decades and that we deserve to be treated differently from other groups.
Qassim Abdullah at Woolpert has proposed that UAV is for the platform, i.e. aircraft and whether fixed wings or rotary and that UAS is UAV + payload (cameras, sensors, etc.). This makes a lot of sense to me and I can’t see any down side, but perhaps we are missing something.