Drone-in-a-box (DiaB) systems, also known as droneports, provide an all-in-one enclosed solution for battery-powered UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that incorporate a landing pad and a drone charging station. The enclosure may be constructed to shelter the drone from weather and environmental conditions, as well as to provide theft- and tamper-proofing. The drone box may also be climate-controlled and include cameras that provide a view of the station’s surroundings for maximum situational awareness.
Dronport systems may be easily transportable, or fixed in place. Some may be designed to operate in challenging environments such as the decks of ships and naval vessels, or moving vehicles, and some may be integrated into the ship or vehicle itself.
Drone-in-a-box solutions may be remotely managed by an operator, or provide the potential for fully automated drone operations and workflows, including BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) flights. They may be part of a scalable system that networks multiple boxes together and can be managed by cloud-based software to provide wide-area on-demand services. In-built communications may include 4G LTE and 5G cellular connectivity.
Autonomous Drone Charging
Drone-in-a-box charging systems may use a variety of methods to recharge the drone. Some have a landing pad made of conductive material, and a small device that attaches to the leg of the drone allows wireless charging. Others may use direct contact with the battery, or provide a mechanism that can automatically swap out a used battery with a fresh one. Some stations may also be able to swap out the drone payload, providing versatility for a range of missions by equipping the drone with cameras, LiDAR scanners, chemical and gas sensors, and other equipment.
Drone-in-a-box solutions are ideal for a wide range of applications, including cargo delivery, military ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and resupply, mapping and surveying, security patrolling and response, precision agriculture, and data gathering.