Cellular connectivity will be key for coordinated operation and control of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, more commonly referred to as drones, enabling a growing set of use cases within and beyond the operator’s visual line of sight.
With its rich roadmap to 5G, cellular technology can bring a new dimension of high reliability, robust security, ubiquitous coverage and seamless mobility to wide-scale drone operation, enabling new kinds of services—helping farmers improve crop yields, giving workers tools to more safely conduct inspections of critical infrastructure, and changing how we respond to disasters.
Qualcomm is accelerating drone technology development by testing drone operation over commercial LTE networks at our FAA-authorized UAS Flight Center—a test environment that represents real time conditions mixed with a commercial, residential, rural and FAA controlled airspace.
Unlocking the Potential of Drones
Sep 29, 2016
Paving the path to 5G: Optimizing commercial LTE networks for drone communication
Sep 6, 2016
Our early findings showed that current cellular networks can provide coverage to drones at higher altitudes up to 400ft. We also found out that our test drones are capable of demonstrating seamless handovers between different base stations during flights with zero link failures. However, we still see several opportunities to optimize LTE for safe drone operation.
5G will enable wide scale deployments of mission-critical drone use cases, For example, a team of drones collaborating with each other to conduct search and rescue mission – first searching for and finding a lost hiker, then manipulating and lowering a net, and ultimately bringing the victim to the nearest medical facility.
Besides advancing cellular communication for drones, Qualcomm is delivering new levels of on-board intelligence. Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight drone development brings together all of our drone technology innovations on a highly optimized heterogeneous computing platform