Saving Air Frame Weight with a Wireless Backhual to Ground Instead of Ethernet


Mission "Wifi" Impossible > Bring Long Range 5G and 2.4 G WiFi Backed By A 1 Gigabit Fiber To The East Brainerd EF-3 Tornado Disaster area.

Josh StarnesJosh Starnes 09/19/2020 at 12:450 Comments

In weighing options ( pun intended ) for higher altitudes, we started brainstorming lighter high speed air frame to ground connections. Higher altitude results in better long range coverage and the least amount of direct line interference. The  physical Ethernet sky to ground connections starts getting heavy for the drone the longer the length. As an option to save weight when above 100 feet, we are building a load out option to have a downward facing direct CPE to CPE link. The 5G 2x2 MIMO CPE and AP weights in at just 3.6 ounces. This is hard to beat even for a 20 foot long ethernet.  We may try either / or the 2.4g or 5g ,but weight is about half on the 5g antennas. Also if needed the downward link can also be a standard WiFi AP using one of the two 2x2 MIMO antennas or enabling TDMA ( Time Division Multiple Access) which is the same tech that cell phones use to increase the number of customers served at once on a single cellular tower.

Here is my super awesome descriptive doodle. We would still have the 220 volt tether, but it is much lighter per foot than a Cat5e or Cat6 200-400 foot cable.

The above picture describes the ground station to air frame tether, but a downward direct WiFi link could lighten the load in contrast of the much higher weight of a 200-400 foot long Ethernet.