Drone specialist patents radio tech
US-based drone specialist Department 13 (D13) has been awarded a patent for power-efficient radio technology that it claims lowers the cost of components while improving signal quality.
US Patent No. 9485063 is for the innovative use of spreading codes for orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) enabling more power-efficient radio transmissions.
In a statement, the company said the proprietary technology is applicable to a broad range of markets where battery-powered radios transmit broadband data.
“The application of this patent can help deliver substantial cost savings and battery life improvements in devices such as smartphones, camera drones and remote controls, and represents a potentially lucrative licensing opportunity across a broad range of market segments,” said D13 CEO Jonathan Hunter.
Many radio standards rely on OFDM as a mechanism for spectrally efficient, high-data-rate transmissions.
But according to D13, OFDM typically employs hundreds of subcarrier signals, causing it to suffer from high peak-to-average power ratio, thus requiring a more robust power amplifier (PA) — often one of the most expensive components in radio devices.
D13 said the spreading codes covered in the new patent help shape the OFDM transmission to appear like a single-carrier signal with low peak-to-average power ratio, enabling low-cost, low-power PAs to amplify signals without distortion.
According to D13, this is critically important for counter-UAS scenarios, where battery-powered sensors and airborne platforms need to transmit high-bandwidth data streams.
The company said the technology also has applications wherever battery-powered radio devices are used.
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