Jessup, Md.-based UAV Solutions Inc. (UAVS) has used a 4G LTE network to operate its Phoenix ACE LE unmanned aircraft system (UAS) beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) of the operator.
Using a standard data plan, a modified set of avionics and a 4G LTE modem in the aircraft, UAVS was able to fly from a distance of more than 60 miles away. During the flight, the operator had full control of the UAS, as well as autonomous mission planning. The team was able to view live video, as well as operate the on-board camera. During the demonstration, the operator flew four 55-minute flights.
The Phoenix ACE LE is a multi-rotor drone capable of flying for more than one hour.
“Applying 4G LTE technology for the flight of unmanned systems allows the proficient user to operate from anywhere on the globe with the assistance of a technician on the ground and a cellular network,” states Bill Davidson, CEO and chief engineer of UAVS. “Future possibilities for this technology include remote unmanned inspection stations.”