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AT&T and Intel are testing the viability of using existing LTE networks to control aerial drones

By Shawn Knight
Feb 22, 2016
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  1. AT&T's Internet of Things team and the AT&T Foundry innovation center are partnering with Intel to explore alternative methods to handle increased drone traffic. Specifically, they aim to determine if AT&T's existing LTE network is up to the task of handling data transmission between aerial drones and their operators on the ground.

    Today's consumer drones are hamstrung by short-range signals (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and radio waves) as well as various government regulations. Once things are sorted out as far as legal guidelines go, drones used for commercial purposes likely (hopefully) won't be limited to line-of-sight operation which is where AT&T comes in.

    The nation's second largest wireless carrier is working with Intel to evaluate the performance of the LTE network as it pertains to handling drone communications. How the network copes with data transmission at high altitudes, for example, will certainly be telling. The telecom said connecting drones over its network may also address safety and security concerns as well as limit potential interference with manned aircraft.

    Chris Penrose, senior vice president, IoT Solutions at AT&T, said their LTE network is uniquely positioned to connect industries like delivery, agriculture, construction and insurance. Anil Nanduri, vice president of the New Technology Group and general manager of New Markets within the Perceptual Computing Group at Intel, echoed those sentiments, saying his company believes UAVs have great potential, from inspections and precision agriculture to deliveries of consumer goods and providing emergency disaster relief.

    Intel will be showing off its Yuneec Typhoon H drone (which uses its RealSense Technology) at Mobile World Congress this week.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. MannerMauler

    MannerMauler TS Booster Posts: 100   +18

    Rather interesting,
     
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,676   +780

    Can't wait till the hackers figure that one out ..... they will be raining from the sky! LOL
     
  4. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,324   +711

    But..but...the bandwidth crisis!!

    Yeah, and considering that this is REALLY mostly about surveillance drones it'll be twice as hilarious. These *****s in the government-corporate complex won't be satisfied until they've created a sci-fi dystopia.
     
  5. Rieksfier

    Rieksfier TS Rookie

    "Add drone coverage to your AT&T wireless plan today! Starting as low as $10.00 / 15 minutes!"
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  6. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 913   +388

    LMAO! At&t is ALREADY complaining they don't have the bandwith to increase the speeds of their LTE data in the USA, and they think THIS won't impact it?
     
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,702   +1,886

    WTF are these people talking about anyway, "agriculture", "package delivery"? That's crazy talk. They only have something like 10 to 20 minutes flight time.. How much more than line of sight is that anyway?

    These toys the Chinese are foisting off on us might take pictures over a movie set, but with their current payload capacity, they're certainly not going to be spraying the crops on the back 40, or putting out a forest fire anytime soon.

    By the time, if and when they do get to that point, they'll be the same size as the "UAVs" the military is using to rain down Hellfire missiles on Isis.

    Here's the" Predator": http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/FactSheets/Display/tabid/224/Article/104469/mq-1b-predator.aspx With it's 55' wingspan and 115 HP engine.

    Does anybody here think the FAA would let you fly something like this with a cell phone?
    [​IMG]

    And keep in mind its payload consists mainly of two large missiles. It still won't carry enough payload to spray crops or fight a forest fire. A mere 500 gallons of water weights 4000 pounds. Or if you prefer, two tons.
     
    Rieksfier likes this.
  8. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    I wish they would work on better ways on getting many of these out of the air. I know there are responsible users, but it seems like the maxim,' a few abusers are ruining it for the many' is more like 'the many abusers are ruining it for the minority'.
    I remember radio-controlled aircraft, but they never seemed to take off in the market (no pun intended). By contrast these drones seem to be the toy many can't do without.
     
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,702   +1,886

    Well, aircraft in general have an elitist type of following. Flying fixed wing or, (especially), actual scale model helicopters is a difficult and acquired skill, which bears no resemblance to "flying" the quadcopter, imbecile proof, toys of today.

    The only reason the new "drones" work, is due to major advances in miniature gyroscopes and accelerators which are doing the actual controlling/ stabilizing of the craft, not the fool with the smart phone. (In fairness, the F-16 is "fly by wire" as well, with a computer actually doing much of the work stabilizing the ship. All modern jet fighter require this type of control).

    In any case, "real miniature aircraft", use internal combustion engines, powered by the same alcohol and nitro methane as your basic double A fuel dragster.. Noise and space are a big concern, and is really a pastime for groups, (clubs), not individuals, which stand a better chance at getting permission to fly on big acreage fields.

    The radios have been "digital"for over 40 years, and yes, micro processor controlled.

    If you were ever involved in the hobby, you'd have an even greater disdain for the classless a**h***s involved with this new wave of "aircraft".

    I could rave all night, but I'll spare you.

    Here's a link to an RC club which, (IIRC), has been active for more than 50 years, flying on a designated area of Valley Forge National Park, in Pennsylvania: http://www.vfss.org/


    Here's a video of a 1/4 scale F-16

    Some people take this hobby very, very, very, seriously!

    Here's a video from Valley Forge of a semi-scale, of what I believe is a Sukoi ) aerobatic craft. At one point, (at about 3:15), he makes the craft stand still vertical, a few feet off the ground, right in front of the flight line:
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016

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