uAvionix recently completed a complex demonstration of its SkyLine Command and Control (C2) management service in which multiple unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) were controlled from the cloud-based C2 platform, while each of the aircraft was connected to SkyLine by several simultaneous links. to several terrestrial radios. The demonstration was conducted in coordination with the Oklahoma Chocktaw Nation (CNO) UAS Test Center, an FAA Beyond Core Participant.
Avoiding a link loss scenario is critical for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations. Each radio and frequency has advantages and disadvantages depending on the geographic location and altitude of operation. The uAvionix solution that takes advantage of both path the diversity and diversity of links focuses on preventing link loss situations by enabling seamless, lossless switching between radio types.
Diversity of paths exists when radio frequency (RF) information has more than one physical path to its destination. This can be achieved by more than one radio on board the aircraft, or more than one radio on the ground. The demonstration involved the uAvionix microlink ISM radio on the aircraft, providing 2X2 MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) diversity, effectively 2 radios in one, with two separate antennas, each connected to multiple skyStation ISM radios on the ground, each of which is itself a 2X2- MIMO. Path diversity offers the best chance for a given link to reach its destination by more than one physical path.
Diversity of links exists when different radios or frequencies exist. For this demonstration, in addition to the microLink/skyStation ISM frequency radios, the uAvionix muLTElink provides LTE connectivity through its own internal 2X2 LTE MIMO. Therefore, on the aircraft, there is both path diversity and link diversity because data can reach its destination via different radios (and frequencies) as well as different physical paths from antenna to antenna.
The combination of link diversity and path diversity creates a self-healing, deterministic, low-latency network that is incredibly resistant to interference or jamming due to the redundancy of paths for data to be transmitted and received. Managing this complexity is handled by the SkyLine C2 management platform, which provides operators with real-time statistics on each radio link, and enables automatic or manual radio-to-radio roaming, in the air or at ground level. floor.
“The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the unique location of the Emerging Aviation Technology Center (EATC) with its vast and diverse terrain is a perfect place to demonstrate muLTElink and SkyLine capabilities,” said Marc Hartman, director of flight operations at CNO, “With existing gaps in cellular coverage, it provides a real-world environment to showcase the unique ability of the muLTElink and SkyLine cloud service to provide seamless command and control of an aircraft in a real-world environment”.
In addition to the automated management of the C2, uAvionix also used SkyLine to demonstrate an integrated detect and avoid (DAA) capability from ground-based sensors, including ground-based CNO Detect HARRIER™ primary radar information and multiple uAvionix pingStation3 ADS-B receivers to provide a complete picture of cooperative and non-cooperative aircraft throughout the airspace.
“The ability to present integrated radar and ADS-B data in a managed C2 solution ultimately utilizing uAvionix C-band radios is a major contributor to our planned BVLOS operations here in the Choctaw Nation,” Hartman said.