Doodle Labs Extends the Range of
Mission-Critical Drones

A leading UAS manufacturer partnered with Doodle Labs to deploy a broadband data link that enables long-distance operation of their Unmanned Aerial Systems.

Doodle Labs’ customer (name withheld for confidentiality) is one of the largest UAS manufacturer of high-performance drones for defense, public safety, and industrial customers around the world. Their field-tested small Unmanned Aerial Systems set the standard for real-time, secure, aerial intelligence across a wide range of mission-critical applications from clandestine tactical missions, to search and rescue operations, critical infrastructure inspections, and more.

Business Challenge

This customer’s Unmanned Aerial Systems have been developed to serve extremely demanding use cases, most of which involve streaming large amounts of sensor data from the flyer to the base station in real-time. The vehicle’s camera payload, for example, shoots and streams 1080p HD video.

In order to leverage the vehicle’s full capabilities in the field, the customer needed a solution that supported high-throughput, long-distance communication, with a minimum range of 3 km. Moreover, it needed to be small and lightweight to help minimize the total weight of the flyer while also consuming minimal power to maximize the flyer’s battery life.

Given the customer’s numerous government and international customers, they were also looking for a communication solution that operates at ISM bands but also has the flexibility to switch to licensed-band frequencies when needed.

Solution

Doodle Labs partnered with the customer’s design team to customize the NM-915 broadband radio transceiver to fit inside the vehicle’s chassis. The NM-915 includes two components: an RF transceiver and a front-end subsystem, which operates as a power booster. Each of the components were designed to be highly durable in order to maintain performance in the extreme environments the vehicle is regularly deployed in.

As a part of the Industrial Broadband family of radio transceivers, the NM-915 can easily be swapped out for radios that operate at different frequencies. When the customer ships to international customers with access to licensed-band frequencies, their operations team simply assembles the corresponding radio card.

Results

When using a directional antenna, the UAS is able to travel and transmit video 10 km away from its base station. The additional range provided by Doodle Labs’ NM-915 combined with the customer’s software and payload options opened up a completely new set of deployment opportunities, whether they be monitoring distant moving objects or mapping larger patches of land.

The NM-915’s FCC and IC certifications allowed the UAS to be released immediately without needing to go through a lengthy certification process.

The launch of the UAS propelled the manufacturer to become one of the UAS industry’s fastest growing companies. They will shortly be releasing its next-generation UAS, which Doodle Labs is proudly a part of.

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