Military Embedded Systems

Unmanned comms system leverages 5G to enable GPS-denied operations


November 10, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Collins Aerospace photo.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Collins Aerospace demonstrated a new directional communication system designed for small platforms such as unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operating in contested environments.

According to the company, the demonstration, part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Pheme project, showed the ability to enable connectivity in the Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) battlespace.

Officials claim that traditional communication systems radiate energy in multiple directions, which can increase the potential for detection and interference by threats. To mitigate these threats, Collins developed a directional communication system leveraging 5G technology that radiates energy only in the direction of the receivers.

This system incorporates new directional discovery and tracking techniques that are intended to enable operations in GPS-denied environments. The demonstration showed high-throughput communications with minimal detection between an airborne radio in a five-inch pod and a ground radio.

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