Doodle Labs Provides Long-Distance Connectivity to
Kitty Hawk’s Flying Vehicles

Kitty Hawk partnered with Doodle Labs to incorporate a broadband data link that enables long-distance streaming video by its futuristic personal flying vehicles.

 

Kitty Hawk is working to make traffic a thing of the past by developing electric flying vehicles. While Kitty Hawk focuses on the development of the vehicles, they approached Doodle Labs for a wireless link that could support a host of features and applications, including autonomous flight.

Business Challenge

The Flyer is a personal flying vehicle designed and built by Kitty Hawk. It combines electric power and vertical take-off to pioneer an entirely new way to fly. It rises like a helicopter and flies like a plane, eliminating the need for a runway, though the current iteration also allows landing on water.

The Flyer’s current max flight time is 20 minutes, which means that a high-power radio is required to maintain connection. Low latency is important given the speeds that the Flyer reaches. In addition, minimal size, weight, and power consumption are obvious pillars of any aerial design.

As personal flying vehicles are adopted in the near future and the number of vehicles in the sky increase, mesh networking and multicast become important features to have.

Kitty Hawk is planning on launching the Flyer in New Zealand, but is working with governments around the world to prepare for launch. As such, having the flexibility of operating frequency would make deployment in various markets much easier.

Solution

Doodle Labs developed the Smart Radio family of routers and gateways specifically with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and robotics in mind. It is a small, lightweight radio that can operate at any frequency from 100 MHz to 4 GHz. Its powerful radio allows a UAS to stream 4K video from 6 miles (10 km) away. Minimal integration efforts were required for the Kitty Hawk team since the Smart Radio utilizes an ethernet interface and has Doodle Labs’ proprietary BII software preloaded.

BII (Broadband for Industrial Internet of Things) software has been developed to optimize performance of the radio for UAS applications. Advanced QoS and multimedia traffic prioritizations allow for low latency Command and Control as well as HD video streaming on the same link. Self-healing and self-forming mobile mesh provides the highly-reliable network with redundancy that the Flyer requires.

Results

Doodle Labs’ Smart Radio provides a communications link for the Flyer team to build a vast range of features and systems. With its form-factor compatibility, the Smart Radio can be swapped to operate at any frequency the local government requires.

With a wireless broadband infrastructure set, the Kitty Hawk team is able to focus on building the personal flying vehicle of the future.

Link to Kitty Hawk: https://kittyhawk.aero/

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