Telstra Develops 4G Disaster Drones

Image: Telstra

Telstra has just announced that it has been developing drone swarms that can help during disaster situations using 4G.

Dubbed 'cell on wings', the drones are mounted with a small cell thaat can temporarily boost local mobile coverage, enabling them to re-establish communication during these situations via the Telstra network.

During emergency situations such as a fire or flood, the drone swarm will be controlled by a single pilot and have the ability to fly in formation in order to map and vision capture the impacted area.

Once technology and regulations change, Telstra is looking to expand this by allowing for more than one pilot so swarms can both cover and search and area during emergency rescue situations.

"The mobile network allows us to quickly send and receive data from the drone, and allows the pilots to safely set up missions for multiple drones through a single platform with visibility and control over all the drones that are flying," said Hakan Eriksson said, Telstra's Chief Technology Officer.

5G is also on the agenda for the drone swarm.

"In the future 5G will allow operators using this type of technology to run missions end-to-end with an extensive data uplink capability. This would mean being able to stream large sets of live data (such as high resolution video) back to operators to be able to use straight away, and back to the server for even more intelligent decision making."

"5G will deliver faster speeds and better experiences to mobile broadband and smartphone customers, and will also be essential to underpin the expected increase in IoT connected devices. 5G’s low latency may allow much more precise real time control over drones and other remotely operated vehicles over the next decade."

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