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Thu, May 11, 2023

uAvionix Frequency Manager Released

Dynamic Frequency Management System Sorts, Supports Multiple Uncrewed Aircraft Simultaneously

Communications specialist uAvionix has tackled a standing issue in uncrewed aviation with a system to manage multiple Command and Control frequencies for simultaneous, discrete UAV missions.

As the industry looks to expand into more real-world use cases of UAV cargo delivery and multi-unit survey, fleet managers have begun to run up against issues of frequency congestion and interference between separate aircraft - and the skies aren't getting any less congested as the industry grows. The Dynamic Frequency Management System (DFMS) works with C2 on the protected 5030 to 5091 MHz aviation spectrum, enabling enterprises to dynamically assign frequencies to operating aircraft already in flight. The system complies with RTCA industry standards like DO-377 and DO-362A, all while sporting a clear, concise control terminal. The DFMS suite has been tasted in uAvionix’ favorite stomping ground in North Dakota, the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, with results showing that it can manage up to 4 simultaneous drones. The test aircraft were centrally managed by the brand’s SkyLine C2 management system broadcasting through a SkyStation5060 Ground Station. Each was equipped with a SkyLink5060 C-band Airborne Radio System, with more than 40 test flight bearing out the system’s readiness for action. 

“The use of UAS in commercial applications is rapidly expanding across various industries. However, scaling operations by operating multiple drones simultaneously in the same airspace can create interference and safety issues, especially when public spectrum is used for Command & Control (C2),” stated Cyriel Kronenburg, uAvionix VP of Business Development and Partnerships. “To address this challenge, the FAA contracted uAvionix in September of 2022 to test & demonstrate the use of a scalable, dynamic frequency manager that optimizes the assignment of frequencies in the protected aviation C-Band, or 5030 – 5091 MHz, ensuring that multiple drones can operate safely and efficiently without interference with each other.”

The group is optimistic that the DFMS will prove useful in the burgeoning business of uncrewed air delivery, though if the rest of the industry is any indication, 4 simultaneous aircraft will likely just be the starting point for future drone fleets.

“We are extremely proud of this milestone of performing a flawless series of operations leveraging our Frequency Assignment Manager for C-Band,” said Christian Ramsey, Managing Director uAvionix Aviation Networks. “This solution represents a major advancement in the drone operations industry, and the results of these tests will further help inform the FAA and the current FCC rulemaking process for C-band use for UAS operations. Our team and the team at NPUASTS have worked tirelessly to conduct over 40 flight tests with up to 4 simultaneous aircraft, following an extensive engineering and bench test effort, to ensure that these tests would be successful and deliver a solution that is a game-changer for the commercial scalability of UAS operations.”

FMI: www.uavionix.com

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