Sharper Shape, a Finland-headquartered supplier of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-based asset management solutions for infrastructure, has introduced the Sharper 4×4 system, which commands and controls drones through multiple 4G cellular networks.
The solution relies on regular cellular networks – leveraging already existing infrastructure and, thus, enabling a cost-efficient solution to a wide-coverage communication network, the company says.
According to Sharper Shape, a single 3G/4G communication channel would be very risky, as a single communication path may fail and cause the operator to lose control of the aircraft.
In Sharper 4×4, the four simultaneous 4G (or 3G) connections in a fully redundant configuration – with auto failover and load balancing – enable reliable communications, and the system automatically uses the best channels for communication. The bandwidth also allows for transmission of real-time 4k video to ground or remote pilots.
The communication is fully end-to-end encrypted and uses a military-grade AES 256 algorithm, making it resilient against hacking and signal intelligence.
Sharper Shape says the solution is already being used in Finland, where four cellular operators have signed up. The system can be used in any country or region, subject to regulatory permits. For the most critical operations, such as peace-keeping missions, a dedicated, proprietary 4G or 5G network can be also used, the company notes.