Global governments, militaries investigate LTE communications via aerostats, unmanned aircraft swarms

PHOENIX, 19 Jan. 2015. Radar and communications, specifically Long Term Evolution (LTE), applications are growing, explains John Long, vice president integrated systems at LCR Embedded Systems Inc., a provider of chassis, backplanes, and integrated systems in Norristown, Pa.

Jan 19th, 2015
Global governments, militaries investigate LTE communications via aerostats, unmanned aircraft swarms
Global governments, militaries investigate LTE communications via aerostats, unmanned aircraft swarms

PHOENIX, 19 Jan. 2015. Radar and communications, specifically Long Term Evolution (LTE), applications are growing, explains John Long, vice president integrated systems at LCR Embedded Systems Inc., a provider of chassis, backplanes, and integrated systems in Norristown, Pa.

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Potential rugged LTE users include defense departments in the U.S. and abroad, Long says. First responders are the first to adopt LTE, he says. The FCC mandated they migrate to LTE; ITU recommended the use of LTE for first responders worldwide.

Remote location applications, including mining and offshore oil wells, are a target for LTE adoption. Commercial aviation is another growth area for LTE, as people look to place what is essentially a cell tower on commercial airplanes so that passengers can use their cell phones throughout flights, Long says.

The LTE user interface is very intuitive, Long adds, citing the latest smartphone systems, including the Apple iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

People are looking to put communications equipment on aerostats, also known as blimps, Long notes. Militaries and governments are looking at aerostat-equipped communications networks, which will be necessary and can be quickly deployable in natural and manmade disasters affecting communications infrastructures. Some are investigating using unmanned aircraft system (UAS) swarming, whereby swarms of UAS equipped with LTE equipment can create a communications and information mesh or network.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has some LTE deployment, while some foreign militaries will move to LTE, Long says. First responders are moving forward, but limited by funding. Remote locations are wrestling with radio band challenges, and commercial aviation is going to be successful someday, although “I hate it,” Long concludes.

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