Overcome Challenges Flying Drones Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) With 5G

Open Generation members built its first private 5G network at a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) designated UAS Test Site located in central New York and managed by Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR). Experiments have begun and the Open Generation team have started collecting and analyzing data to assess performance.

This paper provides an overview of the testbed and end-to-end network design, including network topology and architecture, solutions adopted to add 5G connectivity to drones, as well as challenges faced and recommendations learned from this process. It includes:

  • KPIs and metrics collected from drive and flight tests and compared with expected system performance.
  • Test measurement and network KPI collection equipment, data processing and visualization applications utilized to characterize performance metrics,
  • Insights learned from our collective experience of deploying and managing a private outdoor 5G testbed for drones, and
  • Our plans to perform additional use cases identified for this testbed.

If you have an interest in UAS technology, you’ll want to know what Open Generation has built, learned from the experience, and plans to do next to enable use cases utilizing 5G NR capabilities.

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Deployment of a 5G Network Testbed to Support Drone Operations Paper Cover