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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

15 May 2014

AUVSI 2014: Persistent Systems' Unmanned Vehicles Capabilities

Persistent Systems offers a secure and “true” mobile ad-hoc networking system with its Wave Relay product line. Since inception, the company’s core products have been most utilised by the government sector as well as some by some industrial clients. Today, Persistent Systems has the opportunity to grow its customer base to both industrial and commercial applications.

Wave Relay brings unmanned vehicles capabilities to the next level by providing actionable intelligence to all consumers of the data securely in real-time, be it in the local operation zone or worldwide over the cloud. Wave Relay enables these robotic platforms to work cooperatively with other robotic platforms, manned platforms and dismounted operators simultaneously. GPS denied and RF challenged environments are not an issue for Wave Relay.

Persistent Systems’ Wave Relay OEM Unit enables Unmanned Systems developers to finally utilise command and control (C2) and multiple video channels all in a single networking platform.

The ability to connect everything in a single network makes stovepipes or isolated conduits a thing of the past; Wave Relay enables dynamic and instantaneous data transfer not only between robot and user, but also between multiple unmanned systems.

Current Military and commercial unmanned vehicles require more than a low bandwidth control link and high bandwidth analog video link. Wireless networking greatly enhances the capability and future sophistication of unmanned systems. Persistent Systems, LLC recently conducted flight demonstrations of Wave Relay, their industry leading secure Mobile Ad-Hoc Networking (MANET) radio system for cooperative unmanned air vehicles.

The flight equipment consisted of:

  • 3 aircraft each with a Wave Relay Quad Radio Router
  • 1 ground control station with a Wave Relay Tracking System

The network provided:

  • 3 streaming video feeds hopping from plane to plane
  • Real Time position location of each aircraft
  • Push to talk (PTT) audio between planes and the ground
  • Command and control (C2) from a ground control station (GCS)
  • Distances of over 100 miles

The main purpose of the event was to demonstrate the throughput capabilities of a network consisting of three aircraft each separated by at least 23 miles and the first aircraft separated from the ground control station (GCS) by at least 50 miles.

Persistent Systems spent multiple days running this scenario on live aircraft provided by Avwatch. The flights were run at multiple power levels and various frequencies. The first link of greater than 50 miles from the GCS to the aircraft was accomplished with stock Wave Relay systems without external amplification.

Overall the demonstrations were extremely successful and showed the exciting capability for an air-air-air-ground MANET system. Wave Relay’s proven ability to handle full motion video hopping across multiple aircraft will greatly extend the range and capability of air systems. This same capability has been proven multiple times in other domains including ground vehicles, air to ground links, and dismounted operators.

Persistent has also done multiple demonstrations with an aircraft to a ground station at over 130 miles with a full motion video streaming over the link. Wave Relay provides the flexibility to adapt to mission needs for scaling to additional nodes, maximizing distance, adding additional video streams, multiple frequencies on each node, adding additional control systems, and more.

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