C3 for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

A UAV, commonly known as a drone is an exciting new technology. Historically, UAVs have been used primarily by the military and mainly deployed in hostile territory to reduce casualties. With the continuous technology advancements, cost reduction and device miniaturization, small UAVs (weight not exceeding 55 lbs/25 kg) are now more easily accessible and thus enabling numerous new applications in civilian and commercial domains. In USA, the FAA has allowed the use of small UAVs for commercial work by publishing Part 107 rules. This is an important step that provides a framework for users as well as the manufacturers to develop and operate machines that are safe and regulation compliant. 

Wireless Command, Control and Communication (C3) – The Lifeline of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

The wireless communication link is a lifeline to carry command, control and payload data information between the Ground Control and the UAV. It is desirable to have highly reliable, low latency link for bi-directional command, control and status information. Additionally, high capacity downlink is required for transporting the sensory data and HD surveillance video to the ground center. A lot of research work is being done in the industry to address the new challenges and develop new networking architectures like Repeaters and MANETs for extending the range and support Swarming operations. 

The long range Wi-Fi waveform is tested and proven by NASA to meet the requirements of drones. Doodle Labs’ high performance Industrial Wi-Fi and Prism-WiFi family of embedded modules are successfully used by many UAV manufacturers for short to medium range applications. With Doodle Labs transceivers, in special defense applications, customers have achieved range of up to 30 miles (50 Km) radius and stream HD quality surveillance video.

A small SWaP (Space, Weight and Power) are the demanding requirements for on-boarding the equipment for UAV applications. Choice of operating frequency plays an important role to balance the range, power consumption and the weight. At lower frequencies, the range is longer, power consumption is lower while antenna size/weight are larger. Doodle Labs offers an extensive line of tiny transceivers with best-in-class performance for all frequency bands below 6 GHz. They feature the state-of-the-art, spectrum-efficient OFDM technology for high data throughput, low latency/jitter, and all IP connectivity that enables streaming HD video, audio and sensory data. 

The table below highlights some of the Doodle Labs radio modules suitable for the UAV application. For special projects, we are able to customize the radio modules. 

Frequency Range (MHz) Description Availability/ Model No.
355~420

Military Band

1 or 2 MIMO Streams, 3-5 MHz channel BW, TDD, frequency shifted 802.11n, ath9k driver, Up to 30 dBm RF power. miniPCIe

Approximate LOS Range: 8 Km (5 miles) with 0 dBi Omni antenna on both UAV and GCS. 15 dB fade margin. 

Upon Request for Special Projects
841~845

UAV Band in China

1 or 2 MIMO Streams, 4 MHz channel BW, TDD, frequency shifted 802.11n, ath9k driver, Up to 30 dBm RF power. miniPCIe

Approximate LOS Range: 7 Km (4 miles) with 3 dBi Omni antenna on both UAV and GCS. 15 dB fade margin. 

Upon Request for Special Projects
902~928

License Free ISM Band in USA, Canada, South and Latin Americas, Australia

1 or 2 MIMO Streams, 5/10 MHz channel BW, frequency shifted 802.11n, ath9k driver, Up to 30 dBm RF power, miniPCIe, FCC and IC certifications (in progress). 

Approximate LOS Range: 6 Km (3.8 miles) with 3 dBi Omni antenna on both UAV and GCS. 15 dB fade margin. 

900 MHz ISM band radio modules
1350~1390

Military Band in USA, Canada

1 or 2 MIMO Streams, 5/10/20 MHz channel BW, frequency shifted 802.11n, ath9k driver, miniPCIe, Up to 30 dBm RF power.

Approximate LOS Range: 10 Km (6 miles) with 6 dBi Omni antenna on both UAV and GCS. 15 dB fade margin. 

1370 MHz Radio Modules
1430~1444

UAV Band in China

1 or 2 MIMO Streams, 4/6 MHz channel BW, TDD, frequency shifted 802.11n, ath9k driver, miniPCIe, Up to 30 dBm RF power.

Approximate LOS Range: 10 Km (6 miles) with 6 dBi Omni antenna on both UAV and GCS. 15 dB fade margin. 

Upon Request for Special Projects
2400~2482

License Free ISM Band Worldwide

2×2 MIMO, Rugged/Military, 5/10/20 MHz channel BW, 27 dBm (802.11n, ath9k), miniPCIe. FCC, IC and CE certified. 

Approximate LOS Range: 2 Km (1.3 miles) with 6 dBi Omni antenna on both UAV and GCS. 15 dB fade margin. 

NM-DB-2
 2400~2482

License Free ISM Band Worldwide

Single stream OFDM with 1x FES Power booster, 5/10/20 MHz channel BW, Rugged/Military, 27 dBm (802.11n, ath9k, miniPCIe). FCC, IC and CE certified.

Approximate LOS Range: 3 Km (2 miles) with 6 dBi Omni antenna on both UAV and GCS. 15 dB fade margin. 

NM-2450-1F
 2400~2482

License Free ISM Band Worldwide.

2×2 MIMO with 2x FES Power boosters, 5/10/20 MHz channel BW, Rugged/Military, 30 dBm (802.11n, ath9k, miniPCIe). FCC, IC and CE certified.

Approximate LOS Range: 6 Km (4 miles) with 6 dBi Omni antenna on both UAV and GCS. 15 dB fade margin. 

NM-2450-2F
2408~2440

UAV Band in China (To be used as backup)

1 or 2 MIMO Streams, 4/6 MHz channel BW, TDD, frequency shifted 802.11n, ath9k driver, miniPCIe, Up to 27 dBm RF power.

Approximate LOS Range: 2 Km (1.3 miles) with 6 dBi Omni antenna on both UAV and GCS. 15 dB fade margin. 

Upon Request for Special Projects
5725~5850

License Free ISM Band Worldwide

2×2 MIMO, 5/10/20 MHz channel BW, Rugged/Military, 25 dBm (802.11n, ath9k, miniPCIe). FCC, IC and CE certified.

Approximate LOS Range: 1.6 Km (1 miles) with 8 dBi Omni antenna on both UAV and GCS. 15 dB fade margin. 

NM-DB-2
 5725~5850

License Free ISM Band Wordwide

Single stream OFDM with 1x FES Power booster, 5/10/20 MHz channel BW, Rugged/Military, 27 dBm (802.11n, ath9k, miniPCIe). FCC, IC and CE certified.

Approximate LOS Range: 2 Km (1.2 miles) with 8 dBi Omni antenna on both UAV and GCS. 15 dB fade margin. 

 NM-5500-1F
 5725~5850

License Free ISM Band Worldwide

2×2 MIMO with 2x FES Power boosters, 5/10/20 MHz channel BW, Rugged/Military, 30 dBm (802.11n, ath9k, miniPCIe). FCC, IC and CE certified.

Approximate LOS Range: 3 Km (2 miles) with 8 dBi Omni antenna on both UAV and GCS. 15 dB fade margin. 

 NM-5500-2F