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Overhead Intelligence (OI) has been awarded a Phase 1 SBIR grant from the US Air Force to conduct research on communications architecture for multiple drone operations over IP based communications.
Overhead Intel has been working with open source drone platforms for over 3 years and has been pushing the limits on what is supported with commercially available flight controllers and radios. Unlike many drone developers, the team at OI has boots on the ground operational experience in conducting large scale aerial surveys with drones. OI’s extensive deployment experience has guided the development of products by helping prioritize issues that directly impact operations.
Since its origin, OI has conducted multi-drone operations for commercial mapping surveys. In conducting multi-drone ops, the company has encountered some networking and communication challenges that impact the scalability of open source drones.
Since 2020, the DIU has standardized its communications protocol for small drones to use an open source communication protocol called Mavlink.
Mavlink is a versatile communication protocol that was built for open source drones, but the protocol is in need of some modernization to support the recent growth in IP based radios and communications.
The grant awarded to OI specifically addresses the limitations of Mavlink and some potential modifications to the protocol to support better message security and networking for large fleets of simultaneously operating aircraft.
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