Today, Unmanned Vehicles (UVs) — robotic vehicles are being used for a variety of commercial and military purposes. The term Unmanned Vehicles can refer to – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV). The UVs are operated remotely for either convenience or to keep out of the harms date. Thus, the wireless broadband links are a lifeline to carry command, control and data information. It is desirable to have high capacity, long range downstream link for transporting the sensory data and surveillance video to the control center.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
A UAV, commonly known as a drone comes in many shapes, sizes, configurations, and characteristics. UAVs perform a wide variety of functions. Commercial aerial surveillance of large areas is made possible with low cost UAV systems. Surveillance applications include – livestock monitoring, wildfire mapping, pipeline monitoring and security, home security, road patrol and anti-piracy. The trend for use of UAV technology in commercial aerial surveillance is expanding rapidly.
With Doodle Labs transceivers, customers have achieved range of up to 50 Km radius from the ground station and stream HD quality surveillance video. A small SWaP (Space, Weight and Power) are the demanding requirements for on-boarding the equipment for UAV applications. Because the UAVs are flying high, typically this is a clear LOS application and Fresnel zone obstruction is not an issue. Thus it is possible to have small gain, light weight antennas on the vehicle while a large gain tracking dish is employed at the ground station. Choice of operating frequency plays an important role to balance the range, power consumption and the weight. At lower frequencies, the range is longer, power consumption is lower while antenna size and weight are larger. It is also advantageous to use 2×2 cross-polarized antennas on the vehicle to maximize diversity gain to account for the vehicle’s roll and pitch in the sky.
Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs)
The UGVs, commonly known as robots go places where humans cannot. Predominantly these vehicle are used to replace humans in hazardous situations. Examples are natural disaster response in Earthquake, Tornados and Tsunami struck buildings, ground surveillance, gatekeeper/checkpoint operations, urban street presence, and to enhance police and military raids in urban settings. UGVs are also being developed for detecting explosives and bomb disabling vehicles. Military, EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), HazMat (Hazardous Materials), SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics), law enforcement agencies and other first responders worldwide rely on remote controlled security robots to help assure a safe, successful outcome for their most challenging missions.
UGVs typically require few hundred meter range. However, penetration through the walls and other obstructions is of paramount consideration. Low frequency helps with the long range and penetration issues. On the other hand, because the Fresnel zone is larger at lower frequency, and the ground robots are low, the low frequency works against achieving very long range. The SWaP (Space, Weight and Power) are usually not very critical aspects for the UGVs but they are critical factors for the handheld controller units. Many of Doodle Labs customers have been able to achieve a good balance performance between the 1-1.5 GHz range. This frequency range provides reasonable NLOS operation at 100-200 meter range with just the dipole antennas on the controller units.
Prism-WiFi – The Lifeline of Unmanned Vehicles
In summary, different applications of the UVs require different frequency of operation. Doodle Labs offers a broad line of form factor compatible transceivers to meet these requirements. These transceivers have redefined the bounds of wireless communication and control for hazardous duty robots. The Prism-WiFi transceiver performance is unmatched when operating deep within urban, concrete and steel structures in non-line-of-sight operations.
The Doodle Labs Prism-WiFi line of transceivers provide high throughput, low latency/jitter, IP connectivity that enables new capabilities by streaming HD video, audio and sensory data. These new capabilities promise the unrestrained maneuverability required by law enforcement, military and security operators in the most challenging environments, foregoing the inconvenience of cables to keep danger at a distance.
Doodle Labs offers an extensive line of best-in-class embedded MIMO radio transceivers that operate between the 200 MHz to 7 GHz frequency range. They feature the state-of-the-art, spectrum-efficient OFDM technology for Near Line of Sight (NrLOS) operation and high data throughput. In addition, our transceivers employ the Doodle Labs’ proprietary Prism-WiFi technology to achieve the industry’s best RF characteristics in terms of interference immunity, Tx power, Rx sensitivity, Antenna Diversity and data throughput. The Prism-WiFi radios are small and lightweight. They consume low power and they are designed to operate in the most demanding environments.