Towards SORA-Compliant BVLOS Communication

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With the advances in drone technology, the demand for long-distance drone flights Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), is increasing. A prerequisite to BVLOS flights is reliable communication between Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Ground Control Station (GCS). Moreover, BVLOS operations can require multiple pilots during the flight, for example at takeoff and landing, who can take manual control if necessary. This necessitates a means to handover control between multiple pilots during the flight. This paper will explore options for line-of-sight radio links, for reducing the required bandwidth by optimizing the communication between the UAV and GCS, and for supporting multiple pilots. A MAVLink library to optimize the communication between the UAV and GCS has been designed and implemented. The library successfully reduced the communication from 11440 bytes/s to 951 bytes/s. A component for pilot handover has similarly been designed and successfully tested in real-world conditions. The LOS radios selected have been used successfully together with the MAVLink library in real-world SORA-approved BVLOS operations at a maximum radio LOS distance of 1375 m.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2021 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS)
Publication date19. Jul 2021
Article number9476768
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-4704-1
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6654-1535-4
Publication statusPublished - 19. Jul 2021
Event2021 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ICUAS 2021 - Athens, Greece
Duration: 15. Jun 202118. Jun 2021


Conference2021 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ICUAS 2021


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