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5G Powered Drones in a Connected World

Updated: Aug 7, 2019

Combining the data collecting capabilities of drones with the power of the 5G mobile network will open up a world of opportunities that will drastically change our daily lives.

Drones already enable us today to gather data in a #safer, more efficient and cheaper way. However the processing of data is still very labour intensive and takes a lot of time. With the introduction of the 5G mobile network this is going to change. The #5G network is not only much faster - up to 20 times - than the current 4G network, it also has a:

  • Low latency

  • High bandwidth

  • Integrated security

Especially the higher speeds and bandwidth will enable drones to send the collected data - encrypted - to the cloud for real time processing. It will no longer be necessary for drone operators to work with SD-cards or other storage devices. The #data will already be in the office once the drone is on the ground, or even better, while you are still flying.


Use case: Crop Measurement

The Netherlands has one of the highest food production standards in the world and the Dutch are a leader in smart farming solutions. Today, drones are quickly establishing their position amongst the Dutch agricultural community by providing farmers with real time #crop measurements through multispectral camera's.


By using these camera's it is possible to gather highly detailled images of agricultural parcels, which can be converted to taks cards. These task cards can, for example, show the farmer the parts of the parcel that need additional nutrients. However, today, flying the drone, downloading the hundreds of images to the computer, uploading them to the cloud, processing them and transferring the task card to the machinery can take up to two days.


With the arrival of 5G the drone will automatically send the images taken from the multispectral camera to the #cloud over the mobile network. Here these images are processed in real time and turned into task cards that are send automatically to the applicable agricultural machinery. The machinery can hereby immediately start dispensing the required plant products in a very precise way.

5G will enable the full potential of agricultural drones with high speeds, low latency and high bandwidth.

Stronger together

Together with telecom and network providers AirHub is working on the development of a Command and Control Center that will allow operators to monitor and operate multiple drones at the same time. The 5G mobile network will hereby allow for the remote deployment of large numbers of drones in our lower airspace.


The 5G network allows for #safe, #secure and #reliable drone operations by offering the possibility to reserve certain "parts"of the network for the transmission of command and control signals. This will guarantee the operator that he always has real time telemetry data and can intervene with the flight controls at any time. And with the high bandwidth and the low latency it will not only be possible to send and receive telemetry data but camera and/or sensor data as well. The high bandwidth and processing power will even support future - advanced - Detect and Avoid applications using artificial intelligence (#AI) and machine learning. This will enable autonomous drone flights over long distances beyond the visual line of sight of the operator (#BVLOS). Even the coordination of large volumes of - both manned and unmanned - traffic in the airspace through #UTM and U-Space will be supported by the 5G network.


How AirHub can help

At AirHub we are at the forefront of the integration of 5G and drones, and together with our partners we are working on innovative solutions that will directly impact the way we live and work. Do you have a use case that you want to validate or do want to know more of the possibilities that drones and 5G have to offer for you? Contact us to take advantage of the experience and expertise of our consultants and engineers.

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