Drones have become one of the most revolutionary technologies that have the potential to change the way packages are delivered and how photography is done. However, one of the issues with drones is maintaining a stable connection with these unmanned aircrafts from the ground. As a solution to this problem, cellular networks have been identified as the optimum way of ensuring that drones remain connected to the ground.
Despite the importance of cellular networks in this regard, it has been found by researchers that it is very difficult to establish a reliable signal with a device flying several meters up in the air. A number of companies are seeking to use drones as a way of delivering packages over long distances. However, maintaining contact with the device at such a distance has been one of the biggest issues. Cellular networks are designed in such a manner that they only provide coverage to users on the ground.
The researchers from Carnegie Mellon University’s Silicon Valley campus have come up with a solution with involves a converted ambulance and associated drones. These researchers have been performing studies on how cellular signals work and how they bounce off different objects and the ground. In order to understand this, the researchers took measurements of the coverage area by attaching a phone to a quadcopter.
They found that the way signals work up in the air is different from how they work on the ground. The research is still ongoing as researchers keep testing the signal coverage for drones in designated areas using old ambulances. The group of researchers have also associated with U.S. Geological Survey to acquire comprehensive scans of the area, which will make it easier to simulate the coverage of cellular networks. This research holds great significant for the future as restrictions on drone usage may be eased.