Mission Planning for Drones & Robotics
Mission planning software allows pilots and operators of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), UGVs (unmanned ground vehicles), USVs (uncrewed surface vessels), UUV (unmanned underwater vehicles) and other robotic systems to plan and execute a variety of operations. Parameters and other forms of information are defined and created within the software and then typically uploaded to the vehicle to prepare it for the mission.
This software may run as an application on a PC, laptop, tablet or other ground control station (GCS) hardware), or may be cloud-based and accessed through a browser. The software may work with just a single drone or unmanned vehicle, or provide scalable mission planning for fleets and swarms of up to hundreds of vehicles.
Communication & Encryption
Some mission planning software may allow long-range communication with vehicles over the Internet, including via 4G and 5G networks, enabling BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) command and control from anywhere in the world. The software may thus include encryption to ensure maximum security, as well as the ability to use VPNs for communication.
Maps & Geofencing
Drone and robotics mission planning software will often be based around a mapping interface, which allows operators to define waypoints to be followed during the mission, or to set out specific areas or corridors to be covered during operations such as surveys. The maps may include built-in geofencing to ensure that vehicles do not stray into restricted areas such as airports, critical infrastructure or military installations.
Other features included in mission planning software for drones may include the ability to receive FAA LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability) and other flight authorizations. Software may also be able to take advantage of situational awareness information such as real-time weather updates, air traffic, and hazard warnings. Mission planning software designed for USVs and autonomous vessels may include live AIS (automatic identification system) tracking.