Doodle Labs has been awarded a $1.6 million Tactical Funding Increase by the Department of Defense and Air Force Research Laboratory to develop beamforming capabilities for the company’s line of Mesh Rider radios.
Beamforming is a wireless technique that utilizes advanced antenna technologies on both mobile devices and network base stations to focus a wireless signal in a specific direction, rather than broadcasting to a wide area. The potential advantages of beamforming include a stronger datalink with increased reach and throughput and are of obvious interest to the US military, which is increasingly investing in uncrewed UAV, UGV and other interconnected technologies.
Beamforming is also a boon to commercial and industrial robotic and uncrewed applications, including scanning/mapping, uncrewed delivery and mobile surveillance, as well as for connected teams like first responders and off-grid rescue teams.
The new technology is being developed in line with Qualcomm’s newest 802.11ax chipsets, which include built-in beamforming capabilities. Doodle Labs is a certified Qualcomm Development Partner. The full current lineup of Doodle Labs’ Mesh Rider radios is built on top of Qualcomm chipsets, so developing mesh networking technology to enable beamforming is a natural next step for the Los Angeles-based firm.
The new round of funding is a follow-up to the 2019 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant awarded to Doodle Labs by the Air Force, which supported the development of S-band and C-band radios currently in use in various military robotic use-cases.
For more information on Qualcomm 802.11ax technology, read here.
For more information on the Air Force Research Laboratory, read here.