The Radio signal and Wi-Fi connectivity that controls the drones within a limit range, and those are not robust enough for commercial and reliable drone control over the long distances. At present, you can use drones in a secretive manner at your own places like on top of water tanks and building rooftops. Because, there are many rules and limitations in the usage of drones to visual sight operations, remote-inspection operations, goods delivery etc.
Qualcomm is a world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation mobile and wireless technologies. AT&T helps millions of people around the globe to connect with mobile, high-speed Internet, voice services and leading entertainment devices. AT&T is the world’s largest provider of pay TV and offers the best global coverage in the US.
Both companies have capable of bringing many advantages to drones, such as wide coverage and high-speed mobile support expected from AT&T, robust security, high reliability and quality of service expected from Qualcomm.
Qualcomm and AT&T come up together on a wide-range drone project, that to find the best solution for enabling wide-ranging drones, that uses cellular connectivity like 4G LTE and future 5G networks to fly further than the visual line of sight. The drones can connect to the network towers via modems, similar to cellular broadband connectivity, and the drones will be controllable from any distance so that they can fly autonomously as long as within the cellular network range.
There is a lot of great innovative technologies coming out for usage of drones, but the major challenge is that new technology should prove that the drones can fly safely over populated areas and even in the national airspace. Qualcomm Technologies also begin the trials and testing will take place at its FAA-authorized UAS Flight Center. The environment contains with real world conditions including residential, commercial and FAA controlled airspace. This total facility permits testing of the use of cellular networks for drones without affecting AT&T’s everyday network operations. If that proved and success on test Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), then it is easy to get the drone pilot’s certificate from FAA.
Qualcomm is testing drones equipped with AT&T’s LTE/4G cellular modems and a variation of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Flight drone development platform. That entire system uses high-fidelity sensor processing, autonomous visual navigation, precise localization, and 4K video capability to perform the multiple operations.
The goal of this project is to evaluate drone communication difficulties in different conditions and that need to progress the performance from ground level to 400 feet range which is the maximum height for drone flight allowed by law and also proper IoT data communication between drones to new cell networks as it is flying. Qualcomm and AT&T want to create the new kind of drone communication system that should convince federal regulators to allow flights beyond the visual line-of-sight. That wide range IoT solution would enable more than the flying delivery solutions like the dream of Amazon and Google. This solution would permit search-and-rescue missions, exploration, mapping and environmental monitoring what any human cannot do.