Communication challenges plague drone fleets

Communication challenges plague drone fleets

For example, a drone directly above one base station might get a stronger signal from three adjacent base stations. The process of constantly switching between these others could lose packets, cause delays, and create a jitter.

Also, more work needs to be done on protecting drone security. Companies like Amazon would like to use drones for carrying high-value packages at higher frequencies. However, more work needs to be done to prevent hackers from hijacking drones to steal the cargo or the drones themselves.

It’s also important to address what happens when a drone passes through a dead communication zone. More work needs to be done on developing algorithms for mapping and avoiding these when practical.

For example, drone control algorithms would need to consider longer flight paths to ensure connection. Although drones should all be designed with some resiliency to address radio gaps, longer gaps could present new risks from environmental problems or hijacking.

It is also essential to consider the different requirements for drone control versus carrying data payloads. Drone control requires low latency, high reliability, and minimal data requirements. Drone data payloads for relaying imagery often involve much larger data streams, which can be buffered. For example, a drone surveying infrastructure might capture high-resolution LiDAR and video data. The bulk of this data could be buffered and uploaded later using cheaper Wi-Fi networks that support higher data rates. Only a small subset of this may need to be sent back to headquarters to decide what to explore further.

Adapting for resilience