Mobile phone network and multi-link drone tracking performance compared

Researchers from Smart Robotic Systems GmbH, DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Berlin, have released a research paper into performance comparisons of two different flight tracking systems.

As part of the August 2018 DRONEMASTERS Dronathon event in Germany the organisers set up two flight tracking systems to reliably track the airborne drones in-flight and assure correct flight path coverage and geofencing for possible urban mission profiles,

According to the research paper: “Several sUAS were equipped with the two tracking systems to assure overlay comparison and redundant data collection.”

The following two system approaches were evaluated during the event:

  • Mobile Network Based – The cellular Hook-on-Device (HOD) of the German Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH in collaboration with Deutsche Telekom AG (DTAG), broadcasting over LTE
  • Stand-Alone On-Premise – The SKIDER Link system of Smart Robotic Systems GmbH, Dortmund, with a dedicated, on premise base station. SKIDER Link transmits detailed telemetry data from the drone in real-time to the ground station using multi-link technologies operating at 868MHz and 2.4GHz.

The research concludes:

“According to preliminary assessment of the recorded data, both systems were able to assure ongoing live-feed of position and tracking of the sUAS, increasing situational awareness for the event organizer, authorities and possible surveyors. The local SKIDER system adds less latency to the measurement and data processing than the central solution due to its local nature, while the advantages of the central system of DFS and DTAG is the full integration of its vast surveillance and communication infrastructure that allows the embedding into the national air traffic surveillance.

“There is good reason to evaluate the combination of both, and eventually to integrate both solution into each other. It also turns out that drone surveillance and the facilitation of VLL drone operations becomes a new driver to address the inherent challenges, and that once more multisensor data fusion gets again at the very heart of an overarching traffic management solution.”

For more information

http://www.smartrobotics.de/UTMTrackingatDMC2018.pdf

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