5G drone flight tests

CAFA Tech 5G drone flight tests in Athens on October 19, 2020

The CAFA Tech-I team conducted drone flights and technical tests at the Stavros Mavrothalassitis Stadium in Athens on October 19 as part of the 5GDrones project. We tested the control of drone flights over a 5G communication network. CAFA drone flight control software UGCS was installed on a 5G Edge server, which sent a flight mission to the drone controller over a 5G network.

In addition, we connected the CAFA C2 system to Frequentis and Drone Radar’s UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) system, which distributes drone locations to air traffic services and other drone operators. In this way, you can fly together efficiently in the common airspace at the same time. Here is also a screenshot of UTM systems.

Participants in the tests were: CAFA Tech (EST), Hepta Airborne (EST), NCSR “DEMOKRITOS” Research Center (GRE), COSMOTE (GRE), Municipality of Egaleo (GRE), Robots Expert (FIN), INFOLYSiS (GRE).

In the morning we set up a 5G network and CAFA Tech then mapped the 5G coverage area and used it to plan the drone’s flights.

5G communication allows three main benefits for drones and ground robots:

  • Very small delay in drone control (latency up to 10ms)
  • High bandwith (4K and 8K) video transmission (speeds up to 1Gbps)
  • Installation of applications on a server located at the 5G base station (MEC server), which can be used for real-time remote control of drones and robots (C2) as well as, for example, video analytics (Computer Vision).

In the afternoon, CAFA Tech conducted an automatic flight over the 5G network, which was automatically controlled from the 5G edge server by the C2 application. The Hepta drone tested lifting 10kg, which was very successful. In 2021, we already plan to launch a real 5G base station by the drone.

The first day of the tests was very successful and all participants worked towards a common goal.