The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics, has compiled a list of “wow-worthy” examples of the vision that the fifth generation of wireless technology (5G) is inspiring for the use of connected drones.
It says that 5G can: bring data-throughput speeds of up to 10 gigabytes per second, enabling real-time sharing of aerial video and other sensor data; enable devices to stay connected while traveling hundreds of miles per hour, allowing for remote deployment of AI-enabled, ultra-responsive autonomous fleets; and it could support up to a million connected devices per square kilometer — enough capacity to absorb an explosion in the Internet of Things alongside increasingly sophisticated mobile applications, on the ground and aloft.
Tom Sawanobori, chief technology officer for CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association), cited a 2017 study by Accenture which estimated 5G would bring 3 million new jobs, $275 billion in new investment and a $500 billion boost to the U.S. gross domestic product.
Active tech companies in the markets this week include FLIR Systems, Inc., Plymouth Rock Technologies Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., Raytheon Technologies Corporation, QUALCOMM Incorporated.
The article added: “But even though telecom providers are steadily building out 5G networks, challenges with spectrum availability in the United States and ongoing regulatory reluctance to allow more unmanned flight outside the line of sight remind us that the future is not here yet.
As we chase it, there are pitfalls to avoid. The CTIA’s Sawanobori shares his industry colleagues’ enthusiasm for 5G.
Like many, he notes the United States is behind other countries in accessing the “sweet spot” of the spectrum for speed, capacity and propagation — mid-band wavelengths — to unleash the full potential of 5G.
He also notes that 5G deployments are well under way in the U.S. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile,U.S. Cellular and Verizon have live 5G networks in a total of more than 250 cities and towns to date.
So far, however, U.S. networks rely primarily on low-band and high-band radio waves, Sawanobori says.
The industry is struggling to catch up with other nations that are making more use of mid-band frequencies.
In the U.S., much of that portion of the spectrum is currently unavailable for 5G because it is already occupied by commercial satellite and content providers, such as television networks, and by federal defense agencies.”
Plymouth Rock Technologies Inc. BREAKING NEWS: PLYMOUTH ROCK TECHNOLOGIES TO DEPLOY FIRST COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE 5G DRONE – Plymouth Rock Technologies (“Plymouth Rock”, “PRT”, or the “Company”), a leader in the development of cutting-edge threat detection technologies, is pleased to announce that its X1 platform will begin initial production with integrated 5G command and control modules as standard.
Airbus Industries first showcased the 5G UAS technology in 2019 as a proof of concept.
In many tests, cellular networks have proven to be capable of serving drones in the low-altitude airspace, a perfect fit since drones fly rather low and cell coverage above buildings and trees is exceptionally good.
With most of the ground clutter below, performance over 4G and 5G delivers an effective and efficient connectivity for drones while maintaining the performance of mobile devices on the ground.
The three major methods for connecting drones by means of 5G cellular data are Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM), Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights, and Sensor Data Transmission (SDTX).
UTM, the system under definition by the FAA in unison with the European U-Space, will deliver a globally standardized technology, allowing these cellular networks to be integrated with drone traffic management systems to enhance the safety and security of commercial drone operations.
Current global regulations are usually restricted to low-altitude operations (below 120m or 400ft) and within the visual line of sight of a human pilot who is in permanent control of the drone.
With BVLOS, drone applications are capable of flying beyond the visual line of sight or when it flies autonomously, and still be in direct control of the pilot.
SDTX is a critical application and is important when data is transmitted to ground stations beyond the remote-control station of the pilot.
This could be either live broadcasting of the drone’s camera or saving time for data processing. Since it is often a large amount of data and AI processing, a data connection with a large bandwidth is required, which will be 5G-network coverage.
“Our mission centric focus on the X1 system has been evident in the capability and performance metrics demonstrated already
Almost all non-military drone remote control systems are based on radio connections similar to Wi-Fi frequencies with a limited range, usually under 2-3 miles.
The X1 has both short-range capabilities, along with an optional military-grade system that enables BVLOS up to 60 miles.
The addition of operational 5G capabilities using cellular networks will deliver command and control connections over unlimited distances provided that the drone has cellular network coverage around it.
This also enables the X1 to be controlled, deliver and receive information in real time from and to anywhere in the world,” stated Carl Cagliarini, Chief Strategy Officer of PRT.
“The key advantage is that this addition elevates the operational capability of the PRT unmanned aviation platform as an unrivalled place holder for the state of the art in the UAS industry.
Further, the addition of 5G adds another layer of safety, should a pilot utilizing the X1 become incapacitated or the manual control device be damaged,” added Dana Wheeler, President & CEO of PRT.
Other recent developments in the tech industry include:
Verizon Communications Inc.
hits another 5G milestone
with the launch of the world’s first 5G Ultra Wideband laptop — the new Lenovo Flex 5G — available at verizonwireless.com on June 18.
To complement the Lenovo Flex 5G, Verizon is also offering its first 5G Ultra Wideband Connected Device Plan, starting at $30 a month.
Lenovo Flex 5G takes advantage of Verizon’s unprecedented 5G Ultra Wideband speeds to connect, collaborate and download files at up to 2 gigabits per second.
The Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 8cx 5G compute platform brings astonishing performance and efficiency to this slim, sleek, fanless device.
Crafted from premium aluminum and soft-touch magnesium, this ultra-portable 2-in-1 offers a full high-definition experience on a wide-angle 14″ touchscreen, complemented by Dolby Atmos®-optimized audio.
With a battery that lasts up to 24 hours, you won’t miss a beat.
FLIR Systems, Inc. recently announced the release of the Star SAFIRE® 380X hardware, firmware and software upgrade to support advanced image-aiding features for its globally deployed Star SAFIRE gimbal systems, including Star SAFIRE 380-HD and 380-HDc.
FLIR Star SAFIRE imaging systems are fielded on fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters worldwide.
Their ultra-long-range visible and thermal imaging cameras are used for a wide range of military, search and rescue, border and coastal surveillance, and airborne law enforcement applications.
The new 380X hardware, firmware, and software upgrade supports advanced features that reduce operator workload for faster, smarter decision support.
Raytheon Technologies Corporation – Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, completed the first guided release of a StormBreaker® smart weapon from an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which will become the second fighter jet to add the weapon when the program reaches initial operational capability later this year.
“StormBreaker is the only weapon that enables pilots to hit moving targets during bad weather or if dust and smoke are in the area,” said Cristy Stagg, StormBreaker program director. “Super Hornet pilots will be able to use poor visibility to their advantage when StormBreaker integration is complete.”
During the U.S. Navy flight test, StormBreaker safely separated from the jet and successfully received guidance data from the plane, enabling it to be directed to its target while in flight.
QUALCOMM Incorporated recently announced its collaboration with JLC Infrastructure and IGNITE Cities to leverage smart city technology for the development of education and construction industries as part of its Smart Cities Accelerator Program.
Markedly, the program is an undertaking of the tech giant’s much-acclaimed Advantage Network.
The strategic partnership is reckoned to be the call of the hour as companies strive to initiate vital construction projects as various states begin to reopen their economies amid the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic.
Qualcomm’s Advantage Network offers a wide range of programs, which have been specifically designed to cater to the requirements of various companies with best-in-class hardware, software and cloud capabilities.
These include Head-Mounted Display Accelerator, XR Enterprise Program and IoT Hardware Accelerator.
Notably, this innovative platform leverages new relationships and advanced technologies to bring together member companies for collaboration, tapping lucrative marketing opportunities as well as accelerating business development.
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