Verizon Tests New Drone To Deliver 4G LTE Service
Early this month Verizon announced that it has conducted the latest engineering flight tests. The purpose was to determine the size of the area for which wireless coverage can be created aerially using a “flying cell site” aboard a long endurance drone piloted by American Aerospace Technologies, Inc.
This latest technical test of Airborne LTE took place at Woodbine Municipal Airport in Woodbine, New Jersey. The testing simulates an environment where commercial power is cut off indefinitely, interrupting traditional communications services. The system used in the test was the RS-20 UAS, which has a 17-foot wingspan
The testing was performed under a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA), which was issued by the FAA to Cape May County. The purpose was to perform major emergency preparedness exercises involving county, state and federal emergency responders.
“This new test builds upon our leadership in conducting the first successful demonstration in the U.S. for providing aerial coverage from a long-endurance medium altitude aircraft with AATI in Cape May last October,” said Christopher Desmond, Verizon Network.
David Yoel, the AATI CEO, said: “the goal of the flight test was to simulate an environment in which a disaster such as a hurricane or a flood had destroyed an area’s cell network while demonstrating the drone’s ability to provide first responders with communications to improve their safety and effectiveness”.
According to Yoel, the COA covers 800 square miles of airspace up to 7,000 feet. The county’s public safety mission extends beyond its borders. Adjustments can be made to the COA for natural disasters and other emergency situations.