4G LTE-Connected Drone to Launch in US

By Mike Ball / 10 Aug 2021

Parrot Anafi Ai 4G LTE drone

Verizon, Parrot, and Skyward have entered into an agreement to launch the Parrot ANAFI Ai, the first COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) 4G LTE connected drone solution, to the United States.

Parrot ANAFI Ai is the first and only off-the-shelf drone to connect to Verizon’s 4G LTE network, with connectivity provided exclusively to Skyward subscribers. The Skyward Connected Drone Solution gives enterprises a streamlined solution for planning, flying, data transfer and processing data.

The compact professional drone weighs less than 2 pounds and provides a flight time of up to 32 minutes, delivering 48 MP imaging accuracy and 4K 60fps smooth videos. It features a full open source app, autonomous one-click photogrammetry, new levels of cybersecurity and a uniquely designed omni-directional obstacle avoidance system. Parrot ANAFI Ai’s embedded Secure Element secures the 4G LTE link between the drone and the user’s device. Parrot’s implemented streaming software is adapted to the 4G situation to quickly optimize the definition and frame rate to the network quality.

Parrot ANAFI Ai pilots can use the Skyward Connected Drone Solution to:

  • Plan with Skyward’s airspace map and fleet management tools
  • Obtain fast, automated access to controlled airspace from the Federal Aviation Administration with LAANC
  • Fly over Verizon 4G LTE with the Skyward InFlight mobile app
  • Process with Skyward Mapping & Modeling, powered by Pix4D
  • Transfer data during flight over 4G LTE

Once activated through Skyward, Verizon 4G LTE connectivity provides a seamless backup connection to the flight controller in case of interference or interruption. It paves the way for near real-time data transfer, remote deployment, and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight operations, currently allowed with a waiver from the FAA.

Mariah Scott, Head of Verizon Robotics Business Technology, commented: “Enterprise drone programs are pushing the limits of technology available today and advanced operators are ready for a connected, trusted, and capable drone to take their drone programs to the next level. Parrot ANAFI Ai connected to Verizon 4G LTE marks an industry milestone toward distributed, remote, persistent operations that lets users fly to anywhere from anywhere with near real time data transfer.”

Henri Seydoux, Founder and CEO of Parrot, said: “Cellular connectivity is the new communications standard for the professional drone industry and Parrot ANAFI Ai seeks to set new standards for drones at work. We designed ANAFI Ai’s 4G LTE connectivity, which enables precise, robust and secure control at any distance with a 4G LTE connection that avoids obstacles. Advanced artificial intelligence, autonomous flights, best-in-class imaging, photogrammetry accuracy and reliable 4G LTE connectivity on the Verizon network, put powerful new tools in the hands of professionals like never before and we truly believe it is a game changer for the professional drone industry.”

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact