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A new control system that allows operators to control drones via the high-speed wireless communication LTE network was recently completed by KDDI and Terra Drone. The “4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) control system” also helps drone businesses by managing the information on each drone and operator and providing detailed flight logs of each flight.
Flight plans will be created via the system by setting altitude of each optional flight point and flight forms between the points on an online map. During the flight, control instructions based on the flight plan are transmitted to the drone through LTE network.
According to terra-drone’s site, automatic flights following set flight plans are only part of the system’s capabilities. The system will also allow operators to watch real-time flights images in order to control drones remotely by sight. This system also can grasp electromagnetic wave conditions and set an alarm in case a drone is in a low electric field. This allows the drone to respond to a sudden changes of a flight route and a forced return in case of emergency. Furthermore, through this system operators can monitor and control images taken by the drone and communication of the survey data.
By setting up a hypothetical cage, a 3D area in which a drone can fly, prior to the flight, the drone automatically goes back within the area even if they are forced out of the zone by rain, wind or a technical trouble of the drone.
Terra drone developed and has started to use “Terra UTM”, its unique operation control system, and now is planning to promote international standardization of the system with UNIFLY, the world-class leading company in the UTM industry. As to the invention of “4G LTE control system”, Terra drone utilized KDDI’s 4G LTE network, its base stations and the core system of Terra UTM.
This 4G LTE control system is the first phase of development on “Smart Drone Platform”, the project that Terra Drone announced last December. Terra Drone and KDDI have conducted demonstration experiment of utilisation of the system as a solution to infrastructure inspection.