Vodafone Tests Elistair’s Tethered UAS System for 4G Coverage

Vodafone Group’s New Technologies and Innovation team recently tested Elistair’s Tethered Drone System, which can be used to provide potentially life-saving 4G coverage during natural disasters and other emergency situations. Typically, improving or restoring coverage could take weeks and requires heavy, expensive operations.

The group performed the tests in an uncovered area of northern Andalucía with mobile relays mounted on the Elistair Safe-T tethering station, according to a news release. The unmanned aircraft system (UAS), which features an unlimited power supply, stood up to 80 meters for more than a day. It was equipped with Vodafone CrowdCell and was able to deliver 4G coverage of up to 3 megabits per second in an area that didn’t have any coverage before.

When tethered to the Safe-T or Ligh-T station and equipped with a network device, the drone can fly for hours and offer coverage with no risk of interferences in the network or loss of the UAS. Safe-T is an industrial smart tethered station for drones that offers real-time semi-persistent flight capabilities. It has a patented micro-tether.

The solution also can connect local users without routing the call through the main macro network, as well as provide video streaming for surveillance.