Command and Control Systems

Find suppliers and manufacturers of Command and Control Systems, Drone Command and C2 Technology for Unmanned Vehicles; Drones, UAV, RPAS, UGV & USV
Overview Command and Control Systems
By Technology Editor Last updated: December 22nd, 2021

Drone Command & C2 Technology

Command and Control (C2), also referred to as Control and Non-Payload Communication (CNPC), refers to the communications link between a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) and its ground station that is responsible for the management and control of the aircraft. C2 links are an essential part of drone operations whether the aircraft is being directly remotely piloted by a human, or programmed to fly autonomously.

Drone Command and Control Systems

Mobile Drone Command & Control Centers by Aerial Response Solutions

Drone C2 Links

Drone C2 links may use a variety of different communications technologies. Line-of-sight (LOS) drones will typically use a RF (radio frequency) link such as UHF or VHF, and extremely short-range drones may use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Cellular services such as 3G, 4G and 5G may also be used, but can be of limited utility due to “dead zones” in cellular coverage. Drones operating BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight), especially military drones, are likely to use some form of satellite communications (SATCOM) service such as Inmarsat or Iridium.

C2 Drone Control

SKYTRAC’s IMS-350 UAV Satcom

RF C2 links for critical applications, such as high-altitude flights, missions involving sensitive data, or those with valuable cargo may use portions of the RF spectrum referred to as the protected spectrum.

Use of these frequency bands includes significant legal protections in order to guard against interference that could cause issues for the unmanned aircraft during flight.

Drone C2 Technology

uAvionix microLink – UAV C2 link

UAV Command and Control Systems

UAV command and control is typically performed via the ground control station (GCS), which may be built around hardware such as a laptop or desktop PC, or a portable device such as a tablet or mobile phone. The GCS will have a C2 radio or other communications device built in that allows autonomous commands or remote control, and will also enable the drone to send telemetry data back to the GCS. The control station will also be able to send commands to and receive data from payloads installed on the UAV.

UAV Command and Control Systems

G2Nav – dual-screen ground control station by UXV Technologies

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