Evolve Dynamics

Helix in the Sky Mantis


Helix Mesh Rider Radio covers six federal bands (M1 – M6) in a single radio, tailor-made for defense use-cases and truly global deployment.


Mesh Rider Radios make use of 256-bit AES software data encryption and meet the stringent FIPS-143 standard.

Blue UAS Compliant

Helix Mesh Rider Radio was developed with the sponsorship of Defense Innovation Unit and is the sole datalink in the Blue UAS program.

UK-based Evolve Dynamics designs and manufactures all-weather UAV/UAS platforms for use in the world’s most challenging environments, from front line electronic warfare scenarios in Ukraine to plotting routes through sea ice in the Antarctic on the Royal Navy’s HMS Protector.

Its newly-launched SKY MANTIS 2 platform is engineered to excel in conditions where other UAVs are typically unable to fly, performing in heavy rain and winds of up to 75 kmh. Its dual on-board cameras can capture ultra HD and thermal video as standard, and it can take on many optional, customizable, quickrelease payloads.

However, in extensive field testing to prepare for the contested battlespace of Ukraine, the original Sky Mantis’ on-board radio didn’t pass muster. Range was limited, stunting the intended use of the UAV, and the radio’s performance could be inconsistent and unpredictable.

Compounding these issues, the speed and quality of support response from the radio vendor didn’t meet expectations.

Always seeking to improve their technology, Evolve Dynamics set out to find a new radio solution that offered a broader spectrum range and the ability to move around it whilst being reasonably cost-effective. They landed on Doodle Labs’ Helix Mesh Rider Radio, a low-SWaP mesh radio developed with sponsorship from the US DoD’s Defense Innovation Unit specifically for the Blue UAS program.

Reliable datalink to support top performance

With the Doodle Labs Mesh Rider Radio integrated as standard, SKY MANTIS 2 is now able to reliably transmit two simultaneous video streams (HD daylight and thermal), telemetry and C&C all at once across the same Doodle Labs datalink, over long distances, and in the face of active Russian jamming efforts.

“No matter how great the base platform is, without that perfect radio link, it only has limited use,” said Mike Dewhirst, founder of Evolve Dynamics.

“So you bring those two together and they don’t just become the sum of the two parts, but it’s a massive multiplier and you suddenly get that magic, perfect combination, that perfect storm of all of the requirements of the system; in terms of flight time, weather, resilience to jamming, distance, performance, sensors, usability and rapid deployment” Dewhirst said.

Anti-Jamming in Ukraine

“Electronic warfare is a huge problem on the frontline in Ukraine at the moment, and combatting it is important,” Dewhirst said. Radio jamming of control and video signal goes hand-in-hand with GPS jamming, Dewhirst said, so a system that isn’t capable of GPS-denied navigation or radio link resistance can lose control and crash almost immediately.

“The effect for a radio that isn’t resilient against electronic warfare is that you initially get degraded signal, and then you completely lose it and it’s as if the system has gone out of range, but it could happen literally tens of meters away from the take-off point.”

Doodle Labs’ Helix Mesh Rider Radio makes use of an advanced anti-jamming feature-set called Sense, which measures any degradation of signal strength in the field and allows for the automatic operational switching of channels within a band, or even to another of the multi-band radio’s available bands with a stronger available signal. The net effect is avoidance of jamming attempts altogether.
“We can attest to the fact that, when testing in Ukraine with different jamming systems, the Doodle Labs radio performs really well and survives that jamming,” said Dewhirst.

Full Support from Doodle Labs

As well as the improved performance in the field, Evolve Dynamics identified additional factors that made the integration of Doodle Labs’ Mesh Rider Radios a success, Dewhirst said.

“There were some bonus items, like ease of integration, software support, UM, physical integration, thermal management and all those other finer points that come in, and those were also really good in the product,” Dewhirst said. “Doodle Labs radios were very easy to integrate, and we were quite quick end-to-end making the whole thing work.”
“There are lots of radio companies out there. Doodle Labs is one of the few that is reactive and is on the cutting edge of technology, and at a reasonable price point” Dewhirst added. “We really value the agility – that’s the key thing on the frontline right now in Ukraine.


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