Using UAS to extend mission-critical comms

By Jonathan Nally
Tuesday, 05 June, 2018

Using UAS to extend mission-critical comms

The US National Public Safety Telecommunications Council’s (NPSTC) Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Robotics Working Group has published a new report (PDF) on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for communications support.

The report aims to inform public safety agencies on the “availability of emerging technology which will provide an aerial communications coverage extension for both LMR and LTE networks”.

The report states that UAS are becoming more popular with public safety agencies, which are seeking to enhance operations and provide an additional layer of safety for first responders who operate in dangerous environments.

Voice and data communications — the latter including video and telemetry — are becoming increasingly important for all public safety operations. That being so, many agencies are looking to boost radio system coverage, capacity and resilience.

UAS are one way in which this can be achieved, and they are already being pressed into service to provide extended LMR and LTE coverage. Last month, we reported on a trial of UAS for emergency communications in Norway’s remote Svalbard region.

A companion paper (PDF), ‘Using UAS for Communications Support — Spectrum and Technology Considerations’, should be read in conjunction with the main report.

Image courtesy Robot Aviation.

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