Advantages of multi-band radio
Doodle Labs’ patented multi-band technology provides resilient communications solutions by giving end-customers more options to use the best frequency band in their area of operation.
By including both 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz in a single radio, we are offering an unlicensed radio that is fit for global deployment in commercial applications like survey & mapping, inspection, videography, and surveillance.
Our proprietary frequency-switching capability converts 2.4 GHz spectrum to 900 MHz, which maintains the high throughput of 2.4 GHz and unlocks the benefits of the 900 MHz frequency band’s long-range and obstacle penetration, which is particularly advantageous for drone platforms. This novel approach to secure high throughput enables HD video streaming on the 900 MHz band.
The new 900 MHz + 2.4 GHz models builds on the same core advantages of the original Smart Radio – low SWaP, ease of integration, priced for commercial and industrial use-case scalability – and adds the power to harness multiple license bands in a single radio for maximum interference-avoidance.
Development of multi-band technology
Prior to this upcoming launch of the unlicensed 900 MHz + 2.4 GHz model, Doodle Labs first developed multi-band technology in the Helix version of the Smart Radio, a Defense Innovation Unit-sponsored and Blue UAS-compliant model covering multiple licensed bands for US military applications.
“To make a system approved for use globally, there are always different frequency bands that are approved in different geographies and it’s a huge operational pain point having to swap out a radio or not have the authority to ship to or use a system in a certain place,” said Ashish Parikh, VP Business Development and Head of Government Programs for Doodle Labs, on a recent webinar with DIU on drone technology innovation in the Blue UAS program.
“The six frequency bands that were given to us [by DIU] ranged from M1 to M6, which was 1.6 GHz to 2.5 GHz. If a single radio could operate on those bands, then you wouldn’t have to swap a radio in and out. This was a very unique challenge because most radios out there, including ours, were single-band radios,” Parikh said. “So we had [radio] versions that actually covered each of those single frequencies, but not a single radio with all those bands in one.”
The Doodle Labs team set out to develop a solution to serve six separate bands in one radio without increasing SWaP.
“That was essentially the main incoming risk – we wanted to add frequencies and reduce size at the same time, which normally are kind of orthogonal,” said Parikh.
The resulting mini-OEM Smart Radio achieved both, with this novel multi-band capability and a 55% SWaP reduction over the previous generation of Smart Radio. The nano-OEM is even smaller.
Doodle Labs also recently added a multi-band Smart Radio version in L+M2-M6 bands.
“The really cool thing about this technology also is that we view this as a way into the future also where if future government requirements come in with different frequencies, let’s say they want to mix and match different types of frequencies, this same technology that was developed as part of this project can be used for that,” Parikh added on the webinar.
With the introduction of the new 900 MHz + 2.4 GHz version of the Smart Radio, this multi-band technology extends into the commercial and industrial-focused robotics market.
“We’re excited to be able to put commercial frequency bands in these different slots, so a lot of vendors that are both commercial- and government-focused will be able to leverage this,” Parikh said.
For more on multi-band technology and Doodle Labs’ Smart Radio, click here.
To view the full webinar on DIU and Doodle Labs’ development of Helix in line with the Blue UAS Framework, click here.