Persistent Systems, LLC
New York, NY

The Wave Relay® 5010 Integration Unit, a Mobile Ad Hock Networking (MANET) product from Persistent Systems, LLC, was recently tested by a Department of Defense (DoD) customer. The technology underwent flight testing and evaluation in an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS).

The 5010 was installed in a UAS platform to create a wireless network in the sky, improving in-flight sensor collaboration as well as tactical operator interaction with the Wave Relay® 5100 Handheld Unit. In similar field testing with DoD customers, Wave Relay® 5000 series models have utilized Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) radio technology that, combined with the Wave Relay® MANET protocols, achieve over 30-mile range with simple omni-directional antennas. The series is under evaluation in complex urban, mountainous, and maritime environments where current radio systems are limited.

The Wave Relay® 5000 set also incorporates HD video encoding and decoding onboard. The encoding and decoding capability removes the need for a separate, external video encoder on the aircraft and ground control station (GCS). In airborne use cases, camera sensors are connected to the WR5010 and digital HD video transmitted to all nodes in the network. The 5100 is also connected to an Android™ End User Device (EUD), which runs an app that displays up to four streams of video on the same screen. Typically, four separate hardware receivers and decoders are required to achieve the same capability.

Operators can also control the camera turret as well as take over flight control of the platform using the Android™ app, effectively eliminating the need for a separate GCS. Push-totalk audio range is expanded due to the UAS systems being part of the MANET, allowing the audio to hop through the WR5010 units onboard various aircraft. The function enables pilots and forward operators to communicate beyond line of sight (BLOS) amongst each other, without the use of a separate satellite radio system.

Overall, the Wave Relay® 5000 series of MANET products reduced the Size, Weight, Power, and Cost (SWAP-C) of the system while improving the range and throughput. The DOD test team plans to share results with the Unmanned Ground System project managers. Follow-up evaluations are planned through 2015 for fielding in 2016.

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