The vision of drones and 5G
The future of drones and 5G technology is a promising one. The rise of 5G is set to revolutionize the drone industry, providing faster and more reliable communication between drones and their operators. As a result, drones are expected to play an even more significant role in various industries, including agriculture, infrastructure inspection, search and rescue, and package delivery.
Drones can use 5G technology to improve their efficiency in several ways. Here are some of the key benefits:
High-Speed Data Transmission: 5G networks offer faster data transmission speeds than previous cellular networks, allowing drones to send and receive data quickly and efficiently. This is particularly important for real-time applications, such as drone surveillance or inspection, where high-quality video streams or other data must be transmitted without delay.
Low Latency: 5G networks also have low latency, which means that there is very little delay between data transmission and reception. This is important for drones that require real-time response, such as drones used for search and rescue operations or drone delivery services. With low latency, drones can quickly respond to changing conditions and adjust their flight paths accordingly.
Improved Connectivity: 5G networks offer improved connectivity, allowing drones to maintain a more stable and reliable connection to the internet. This is important for drones that require continuous connectivity, such as those used for long-range surveillance or inspection. With improved connectivity, drones can maintain their operations even in areas with weak cellular signals or interference.
FIXAR is a full-stack software and design developer of autonomous UAVs for commercial applications. Founded in 2018, the company is now present in 40+ countries around the globe serving more than 100 end-customers.
In 2022 FIXAR was awarded Edison Awards™ Bronze in the category of Aerospace and Robotics for its flagship VTOL outdoor UAV – FIXAR 007 with Autopilot and xGroundControl software. In 2023 the company is planning to release the new FIXAR 025 UAV – a drone with a 10-kilogram payload and astonishing 300-kilometer flight capacity.
FIXAR has conducted several use cases that might be relevant for the telecom industry, demonstrating the company's expertise in drone services in this field. Here are some of the notable examples.
Aerial inspection of power lines to identify threatening vegetation for electricity poles and wires. A total distance of 12.5 km of the linear path was covered in the mission location in East Germany. An average flight speed of 62 km/h (38.5 mph) during the mission allowed FIXAR to cover the whole distance in just 12.5 minutes. According to mission objectives, a point cloud was obtained and provided to the customer for further post processing.
Aerial photography of long linear objects. In June 2020, FIXAR team carried out aerial photography of a railway section. The total length of the railway section was 32 km. Flights for photographic and data collection took no more than 2 hours. As a result, high definition photographic materials and data were obtained and subsequently used by the customer for a detailed analysis of the railway infrastructure and the security zone along the railroads.
Building inspections with a thermal camera. Using the FIXAR 007 solution, it took the drone operator just 9 minutes to cover an area of 2 km2 (494.2 ac). Several buildings were inspected during the flight. Thermal inspections from a drone gave customers a comprehensive view of the building, including walls and the roof structures, in a significantly shorter time.
Possible use cases in which FIXAR can use 5G
Real-time processing of data from the FIXAR drone
Photos and videos captured by the drone are transmitted via the 5G network to the control station in real time. The FIXAR software automatically processes the received data and generates a real-time 3D map. This solution can be used to analyze crowds of people in order to build routes to avoid crush during any mass events.
The solution can also be used for emergency monitoring: situation overview and evacuation routes. For search and rescue operations, drones powered by 5G can transmit real-time data and visualize the terrain, increasing the speed, scale and efficiency of missions.
To create a large-scale logistics network using drones, beyond visual line of sight flights (BVLOS) need to be widespread. Traditional drone data links have distance limitations, which means that autonomous drone delivery, over long distances, requires an alternative solution for control, monitoring and communication.
The ability to exchange data via 5G between takeoff and landing points, makes it possible to deliver humanitarian supplies, blood, vaccines and medicines to remote regions, where the operator needs to check the terrain in real time before dropping a cargo.
FIXAR is open to pilot projects in the intersection of drones and 5G, and will be happy to connect with telecom companies and Kazakhstan dealers interested in the UAVs market.
Join us at the online conference on the development of the 5G ecosystem from Astana Hub in March.