connectivity matters
July 5, 2017

Aerial Broadband for Drones Is on the Launch Pad

By Dava Baumann, Vice President of Global Marketing at Rajant Corporation

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates that sales of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), or drones, for commercial purposes are projected to grow from 600,000 in 2016 to 2.7 million by 2020.

Hardly a day goes by that you don’t hear or read about drones attempting new things. However, whether it’s a hobbyist with a consumer drone or the military with a high-end commercial drone, all drones have the same problems — how to go higher and farther, communicate securely, and handle larger payloads. But, even with these problems, the demand for drones just keeps growing.

As a manufacturer of wireless mesh technology, we see that with our own customers. They also want to use drones for a variety of industrial applications. And, that got us thinking. Our patented InstaMesh® software truly has been game-changing technology for mobile ground communications that operate virtually anywhere. Why couldn’t InstaMesh work for aerial communications?

The Answer: We believe it can. So, today we have a whole team working on how we can refocus InstaMesh for mission-critical communications in the sky. We’re using our industry-leading technology within ground-based Kinetic Mesh® networks to offer secure, reliable, high-speed drone communications. Our goal is to equip drones with aerial broadband to overcome current limitations and help organizations to get the business benefits they want.

At the heart of this exciting solution is our BreadCrumb® drone module running InstaMesh software to direct continuous and instantaneous routing of wireless communications. The BreadCrumb drone module is a small-footprint, lightweight wireless node engineered to supply broadband connectivity on a single drone or a cluster of drones. The units are capable of handling various payloads such as a cameras, audio, Lidar (for surveying), and chemicals. With this solution integrated into drones, enterprises can increase flight distances, times, and functionality.

The Result: A mesh in the sky that provides fully mobile, secure drone-to-drone and drone-to-ground communications and scales for larger payloads. We’re testing these capabilities right now and results are very positive. To give end users access to complete Kinetic Mesh drone solutions, we also have partnered with drone suppliers such as UgCS and xCraft and continue to seek additional drone partners.

Use Cases: Let your imagination fly because applications for UAS/UAV/drone solutions are evolving rapidly, and enterprises are just beginning to explore the possibilities. Some of the more established applications include aerial surveillance, infrastructure monitoring and photography, border and climate monitoring, vehicle and equipment troubleshooting, and agricultural fertilizing.

The sky’s the only limit we see now! Check out our video to learn more about Rajant’s work in drone communications.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,