Textron and Persistent Systems have has entered into a five-year agreement for Textron to join Wave Relay Ecosystem, an alliance of unmanned system and sensor companies that integrate the Wave Relay mobile ad-hoc network (MANET) into their products.
The companies announced their partnership this week at the this week at Association for Unmanned aerial vehicle Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI) XPONENTIAL conference and trade show in Chicago.
Installing Persistent's MANET communications systems on Aerosonde unmanned aircraft will enable Textron UAVs to join land-, air-, and sea-based networks to enable warfighters to share voice and data, including imagery, video, and text.
The Textron Aerosonde SUAS is for multi-mission expeditionary land- and sea-based operations. It for simultaneous day-and-night full-motion video, communications relay, and intelligence missions.
Aerosonde weighs 80 pounds, has an 11.9-foot wingspan, can carry a 20-pound sensor payload, can fly as high as 15,000 feet, has a maximum range of 75 nautical miles, and can fly for as long as 14 hours.
Ad-hoc networking enables warfighters operating in the same region to create RF networks on the fly to enable data networking in areas where no communications infrastructure exists. Each Persistent Systems radio acts simultaneously as a transmitter, receiver, and network node -- similar to a cell phone tower.
By incorporating Persistent's MANET radios on their small UAVs, Textron can improve their capabilities in dense urban environments. Enhanced networking capabilities can provide the warfighter with real-time situational awareness to help them make quick, in-the-moment tactical decisions.
Joining the Wave Relay Ecosystem enables Textron UAVs to work seamlessly with all other Wave Relay MANET-enabled products. The Wave Relay MANET adapts quickly and continuously to fluctuations in terrain and other difficult environmental conditions to make the most of connectivity and communications performance.
The Wave Relay MANET’s proprietary routing algorithm enables users to incorporate vast numbers of meshed communications devices into the network in which the devices themselves form the communication infrastructure.
Persistent Systems Wave Relay radios each use three antennas instead of one to boost communications range and power, as well as to mitigate the effects of multipath and other interference to keep data communications open and operating at high bandwidth.
In addition to Textron, the other companies that are part of the Wave Relay Ecosystem are Hoverfly Technologies Inc. in Orlando, Fla.; Martin UAV in Plano, Texas; Boeing Insitu Bingen, Wash.; LGS Innovations in Herndon, Va.; Endeavor Robotics in Chelmsford, Mass.; QinetiQ North America in Waltham, Mass.; and Raytheon Co. in Waltham, Mass.
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