Intelligent CIO North America Issue 27 | Page 70

INTELLIGENT BRANDS // Mobile Technology

Ericsson and National Science Foundation ’ s AERPAW collaborate on 5G drone research to support smart agriculture

Demonstration shows video streamed from a drone on an Ericsson 5G radio and core network with available uplink speeds over 100 Megabits per second , and downlink speeds over 450 Megabits per second .

Ericsson and the Aerial Experimentation and Research Platform for Advanced Wireless ( AERPAW ), funded by the National Science Foundation and a consortium of industry partners , have announced a collaboration on advancing the use of 5G for drone operations in support of smart agriculture .

In a demonstration hosted at North Carolina State University , the AERPAW team , part of the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research ( PAWR ) program , equipped a custom drone with a connected camera and local compute capacity in order to monitor a field of cattle for information on grazing patterns .
Footage from the remote field was streamed over a 5G connection enabled by an Ericsson base station and Ericsson Cloud Packet Core network . The demonstration took place on the mid-band spectrum ( 3.4 gigahertz ) applying 100 megahertz of spectrum under AERPAW ’ s experimental program license . but also delivery of supplies and objects for commercial use , improved air traffic control under Federal Aviation Administration regulations , and command and control of unmanned aerial vehicles ( UAVs ) over cellular links .
“ Smart agriculture will likely represent a very large growth segment for UAVs in the next decade ,” said Mihail L . Sichitiu from AERPAW . “ And field testing at sites like AERPAW is critical both for exploring what ’ s possible and for ensuring operational safety . Only a drone under constant monitoring and control is a safe drone .”
Ericsson and AERPAW have enhanced research efforts in line with national priorities , speeding up the transfer of innovation from university labs to industry end-users . The collaboration has also built wireless capabilities through creative partnership , leveraging an expanded pool of experts and resources across the public and private sectors .
" It ' s great to see Ericsson and AERPAW showcasing how collaboration can bring together research and 5G networks to support critical operations supporting public safety and agriculture monitoring ," said Per Wahlen , Vice President and Head of Business Development at Ericsson North America .
" Wide-area network coverage is needed to safely expand drone operations beyond visual line-of-sight missions , and this research provides the improved capabilities for more diverse and critical applications ."
AERPAW , based in Raleigh , NC , is one of four testbeds in the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research ( PAWR ) program supported by the National Science Foundation ( NSF ).
Its mission is to accelerate fundamental research with unmanned aerial vehicles using advanced 5G wireless communications and networking technologies . p
Network performance was measured at speeds exceeding 100 Megabits per second in the uplink and more than 450 Megabits per second in the downlink .
The advanced connectivity of a 5G network provides the capabilities needed to sustain high-quality video streaming , support remote interaction , and enable analytics at the Edge through communication with a local compute-enabled network node .
Use cases include agriculture solutions such as animal monitoring and tracking ,
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