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90 km range in high-speed radio link at sea

The BOREAL ISR drone, equipped with the SIMPULSE SL200 radio communication system, carried out a long-distance mission of more than 50 nautical miles (90 km) located off the French Atlantic Ocean coast. This project, as part of the RF100 program, started a few months ago with the goal to validate long-range video transmissions.

Radio data transmissions in the maritime environment are usually affected by reflections on the surface of the water and by meteorological disturbances specific to the marine environment. The wave propagation conditions are considered as atypical compared to those in the terrestrial environment. These conditions cause weakening or even interruption of the radio signal.

Therefore, long-distance flights over the seas require a very good knowledge of these phenomena and the solutions to be implemented This is why the experienced BOREAL and SIMPULSE teams worked together to demonstrate the feasibility and validate long-distance radio ranges in these difficult environments..

Thus, the BOREAL ISR drone, particularly suitable for long-distance missions, was operated with the SIMPULSE compact SDR radio technology on board which adapts its data rate to the propagation conditions, used in the SL200 on-board modem and the ground tracking antenna GRS-T200.

An exhaustive data set was collected during this campaign on the transmissions propagation in the maritime environment. This collection enabled a detailed analysis of the atypical reflections phenomena and radio waves propagation for modeling them and optimize solutions to prevent them.

« Notre drone possède toutes les caractéristiques pour performer en milieu maritime. “Our drone has all the features to perform in the maritime environment. We are pleased to collaborate with SIMPULSE on this project that results a perfect knowledge of waves propagation phenomena in such complex environment” notes Michel Gavart, CTO of BOREAL SAS.

Few months ago, the RF100 program overcame a first step in validating long-range radio transmissions in the terrestrial environment. The BOREAL UAV had successfully transmitted video data at maximum rate during a flight where the drone system (embedded with SIMPULSE technology) and the ground station were separated by 110 km.

“Our long partnership with BOREAL is essential to test and improve our products in difficult conditions, and we are happy to participate in the success of the BOREAL ISR drone” underlines Emmanuel Hamman, President of SIMPULSE.

From now on, very large-scale missions involving a high-speed radio link can be carried out, such as the surveillance of linear infrastructures, borders, and communication routes, industrial and/or sensitive sites, or the supervision of large maritime and fishing areas.

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