News: UAVs and LTE

Drones, 3D printers and Mobile Internet are associated with the latest technology development. For a long time computers were providing us only with virtual values. They allowed us to learn, entertain, communicate, but they hardly ever created anything what we could really touch. That is about to change. It will take some time for sure, there will be a lot of disappointment, but at the end of the day I’m quite sure IoT, Drones and 3D printers will have even a bigger impact on our lives than the mobile phones have now.

Amazon Prime Air

Amazon Prime Air

You probably remember the first news about the Amazon Delivery using Drones/Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) back in 2013. Since then this industry has skyrocketed. Sure that brings also some challenges. An interesting fact is, that LTE can help to overcome some of them.


Even before Google, Amazon and Facebook were allowed to send their fleets into the sky, the drone sightings by pilots in 2015 were set to triple or even quadruple from 2014. The same year there were 28 incidents between UAVs and manned aircraft in USA that resulted in the aircraft maneuver to avoid a collision. But that’s just a fraction of all the 594 cases when pilots or traffic controllers spotted a drone flying near the flight path of an aircraft.

The thing is that current traffic control was not designed to detect such small objects. So we need a new system to help drones, which are to flit about the cities and countryside, to find their way without bumping into one another or anything else.


PrecisionHawk, Verizon, Harris and DigitalGlobe Inc. announced the successful completion of initial testing of high-performance airspace services for consumer and enterprise drones. LATAS (Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety) platform, is to serve as a pathway for safe drone integration.

“LTE networks have the potential to allow drones to deliver sensor data for processing, analysis and decision-making mid-flight and to receive command-and-control inputs in real-time, resulting in a safer, more reliable shared airspace,” said David Famolari, Director, Verizon Ventures. Operating over LTE and through satellites, the LATAS platform connects airspace safety technologies such as detect and avoid, dynamic geofencing and aircraft tracking to provide “safety as a service” for the rapidly growing drone market.



But that’s not the only possible usage of LTE infrastructure. On 12th July Amazon patented Multi-use UAV docking station systems and methods, where the docking stations for drones can be incorporated into existing structures such as cell towers, light and power poles, and buildings. The docking stations can also include navigational aid to guide the UAVs to the docking stations and to provide routing information from the central control. More details can be found on techcrunch.




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