Kinetic mesh network brings aerial broadband connectivity, improved communications to UAS

MALVERN, Pa., 25 Oct. 2016. Myriad current and potential unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operators – across such markets as military, government, oil & gas, mining, and telecom, to name a few – actively seek a solution that will enable UAS, commonly called drones, to overcome weak or nonexistent communication networks, bolster flight times, and improve security. To address these issues, Rajant Corp. in Malvern, Pennsylvania, announced a partnership with UgCS in Latvia to develop the AirMast Tethered Drone System, which includes UgCS’s ground-based command control software, Rajant’s BreadCrumb drone module, and a tether system provided by Elistair in Lyon, France.

Oct 25th, 2016
Kinetic mesh network brings aerial broadband connectivity, improved communications to UAS
Kinetic mesh network brings aerial broadband connectivity, improved communications to UAS

MALVERN, Pa., 25 Oct. 2016. Myriad current and potential unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operators – across such markets as military, government, oil & gas, mining, and telecom, to name a few – actively seek a solution that will enable UAS, commonly called drones, to overcome weak or nonexistent communication networks, bolster flight times, and improve security. To address these issues, Rajant Corp. in Malvern, Pennsylvania, announced a partnership with UgCS in Latvia to develop the AirMast Tethered Drone System, which includes UgCS’s ground-based command control software, Rajant’s BreadCrumb drone module, and a tether system provided by Elistair in Lyon, France.

The Rajant drone module is a light, small-form-factor radio that can be integrated on a single UAS or a cluster of drones for fleet management purposes. The lightweight BreadCrumb module integrated on the drone overcomes the obstacles of long distances, flight time, and limited functionality and is capable of handling various payloads, including audio, camera, lidar (for surveying), and chemicals, officials say.

“Rajant has married the latest innovations in flight with a communication network capable of taking drones greater distances, and for longer periods of time,” says Bob Schena, chairman and CEO of Rajant. “Drone operators have been faced with weak radio systems and little payload versatility – until now. The AirMast Tether System with our BreadCrumb module gives companies and governments an easy way to establish a broadband network for their drones. With Rajant’s wireless nodes, they have a secure system that can scale with various payloads, giving them true mobility. In kinetic mesh, everything is constantly moving, including the infrastructure, allowing an expansive network footprint.”

UAS often are used for aerial surveillance, infrastructure monitoring, or photography, while industries such as agriculture employ them for tasks such as fertilizing and planting. More than 20 major industries, including public safety and the military, currently use UAS for a variety of jobs.

UgCS’s ground control software is capable of managing an entire fleet of drones simultaneously, allowing multiple drone operators in the field to connect to a single server. UgCS supports map customization by importing terrain elevation models or map overlays, and maintains simplicity and ease of use through its intuitive 3D interface. UgCS supports the most popular UAS and even offers an SDK (software development kit) to create support for custom autopilots.

“The AirMast uses an intelligent winch system and a cable that powers the drone from the ground, allowing it to stay in the air for extended periods of time with no reliance on batteries,” explains Janis Kuze, sales director at UgCS. “Paired with a Rajant BreadCrumb drone module, it can quickly deploy a network ‘tower’ for as long as necessary, all the while being mobile, too. Together with UgCS, this setup allows for the deployment and management of a mesh network of drones. In addition, flight data as well as video streams from multiple drone operators in the field can be quickly sent to an UgCS ground station operator, allowing him or her to scan a large area in a short amount of time using drones, something that is very useful for search-and-rescue operations, photogrammetry and other fields.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued Rajant a waiver, allowing the company to operate multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) concurrently. Under normal FAA regulations, “no person may act as a remote pilot in command or visual observer for more than one unmanned aircraft operation at one time.” The waiver is instrumental in Rajant’s ongoing initiative to advance its solutions to support drones as well as to solve the most complex broadband connectivity challenges involving aerial assets.

For years, Rajant’s scalable and highly reliable kinetic wireless mesh network technology has been used in mission-critical communications. Several industries have relied on its always-on communication network to access their critical applications in real time.

Rajant Corp. is the exclusive provider of private wireless networks powered by the patented Kinetic Mesh network, BreadCrumb network nodes, and InstaMesh networking software. With Rajant, customers can rapidly deploy a highly adaptable and scalable network that leverages the power of real-time data to deliver on-demand, critical business intelligence. Rajant BreadCrumbs can seamlessly integrate with any Wi-Fi or Ethernet-connected device to deliver low-latency, high-throughput data, voice and video applications across the meshed, self-healing network. With the ability to take private network applications and data everywhere, Rajant networks are used across a broad array of industries, including military, industrial, transportation, utilities, telecommunications, and all levels of government.

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