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uAvionix to Scale C-Band Frequency Management for Regional UAS

In a significant step toward UAS commercialization, uAvionix has been awarded an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) contract to scale C-Band frequency management for UAS communications to a regional level By William Mackenzie / 18 Apr 2024
Regional UAS Command & Control: Scaling C-Band Frequency Management
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C-Band frequency management for uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) command and control (C2) communications will be scaled to a regional level by uAvionix, with multiple UAS operating in proximity to one another. 

Through a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) partnership, uAvionix will demonstrate the use of a Dynamic Frequency Management System (DFMS) as a National Airspace C-Band frequency management application that meets regulatory policy, and also encourages commercial build-out of C2 Communications Service Provider (C2CSP) infrastructure.

Using the SkyLine Platform, the demonstration will showcase how organizations can dynamically assign available frequencies within the protected C-Band spectrum to multiple UAS operating near each other. These frequency assignments will be deconflicted and time-phased, ensuring consistent and reliable C2 communications throughout each flight.

The company previously demonstrated a DFMS for UAS C2 using the protected C-Band spectrum.

uAvionix assert that UAS usage of licensed aeronautical spectrum (such as C-Band) for UAS C2 is currently done by exception, requiring both Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and FAA approval. With this high bar for operation, many UAS flights currently rely solely on unlicensed spectrum, particularly that in the Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) band where high levels of interference can impact C2 communications performance and reliability. 

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 directed the FAA and FCC to evaluate various spectrum allocations for UAS C2, leading to support for using 5030 to 5091 MHz as licensed and protected C-Band spectrum. However, effective spectrum management is vital to ensure the limited band is consistently and reliably allocated among multiple UAS operating in the same region.

uAvionix state that significant progress in the commercialization of UAS operations, and their integration into the National Airspace System, has been demonstrated with the latest FAA collaboration and through the recently awarded FAA BAA for extending Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations in challenging terrain. Through the partnership, BVLOS operations are closer to being a daily reality while ensuring a safer and more efficient UAS industry.

Cyriel Kronenburg of uAvionix commented; “With the potential of hundreds, if not thousands, of drones being employed in a region for everything from medical delivery and first response to consumer services, it is critical that the communications links with each aircraft are reliable and do not suffer performance issues because of interference or congestion. 

“Unlicensed spectrum has high levels of interference, so licensed spectrum is the answer, but licensed spectrum is limited and today we control its use by assigning it to aircraft through a lengthy, manual process and that simply won’t scale.”

uAvionix will be at XPONENTIAL 2024 in San Diego, visit the team at Booth #4845 to find out more.

To learn more, contact uAvionix Corporation: Visit Website Send Message View Supplier Profile
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