Mesh Radios Integrated into New NDAA-Compliant Astro UAS

Freefly Systems will use Doodle Labs’ mini Mesh Rider Radio to equip the new Freefly Astro UAS platform with long range, high-bandwidth and low latency capabilities By William Mackenzie / 19 Apr 2024
Mesh Radios for Compact RTK/PPK UAS Platform
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Doodle Labs are set to install its Mesh Rider Radios into a new NDAA-compliant version of Freefly Systems’ Freefly Astro UAS platform.

Designed to deploy from case to flying in just over a minute, the Freefly Astro possesses an open ecosystem of modular payloads with quick release. The unmanned aircraft system (UAS) offers high precision RTK/PPK, LTE cloud connectivity, a tablet controller, smart batteries, an onboard mission computer and more. 

Producers of industrial-grade wireless networking solutions for advanced robotics, Doodle Labs will supply its mini Mesh Rider Radio as the onboard datalink for the new version of the Freefly Astro. 

The high-performance mesh radios operate in an unlicensed frequency band to support commercial drone operations, whilst mitigating RF interference in both urban and rural environments. 

Additionally, the integration of Doodle Labs’ low-SWaP radio will secure long range, high-bandwidth and low latency capabilities. This will ensure a reliable connection for the Astro drone, which Freefly state will meet all compliance standards for the company’s fire management customer base at the US Department of Interior, US Forest Service and other fire management groups, amongst other industrial and commercial users. 

Freefly add that the Astro is also in the final stages of validation to join the Department of Defense/ Defense Innovation Unit’s Blue UAS Cleared List, of which Doodle Labs is already a member as a component provider.

The United States Forest Service is already using Freefly’s Alta-X with Doodle Labs’ radios, reporting success with usage in challenging environments. The introduction of the Astro, with unlicensed Doodle Labs Mesh Rider Radio on-board, will deliver the agency and other federal groups an NDAA-compliant model that is more compact and portable. 

Astro is designed, tested, flown, built and supported by the Freefly team in Woodinville, WA USA.

Doodle Labs Co-CEO Amol Parikh, commented; “Freefly is recognized for their exacting standards – they put their platforms through intense testing to ensure they will be reliable and easy to use for their customers. 

“We at Doodle Labs operate very similarly. Their integration of our mini Mesh Rider Radio as the NDAA-compliant Astro’s datalink is the result of a very natural partnership, and we’re happy to support Freefly’s growth and support of the public safety, commercial and defense realms.”

Doodle Labs will showcase the Freefly Astro at AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2024 in San Diego, April 23-25, Booth #4825.

Posted by William Mackenzie Connect & Contact
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