Vodafone has conducted a pilot project to provide 5G connectivity to AERTEC’s TARSIS UAS for Civil Guard use in surveillance and monitoring of rural or difficult-to-access areas, thus making it possible to increase autonomy and efficiency.
A drone (UAS) connected to 5G allows Spain’s Civil Guard to improve surveillance in rural areas.
Vodafone has conducted a pilot project in collaboration with Spain’s Civil Guard and the participation of AERTEC, provider of the TARSIS system. The project involved evaluating the feasibility of using the 5G network to improve communication between UAS – unmanned aircraft systems – used in surveillance work in rural and difficult-to-access areas.
5G as a solution for remote piloting
Vodafone has developed a pilot project that provides 5G coverage for controlling UAS from specialised centres, without having to be at the location where the UAS is deployed. 5G technology makes remote piloting possible from control centres where specialised personnel are able to issue commands to inspect target areas. This allows one person to drive to the inspection area and launch the drone while another agent pilots remotely from the central station.
To conduct this pilot project, AERTEC provided its TARSIS UAS, a remotely piloted fixed-wing aircraft, with a high load capacity, autonomy and a wide range of security solutions on board. TARSIS are equipped with a 5G smartphone for both high-definition, 4k resolution, camera communications and management of flight commands.
Advantages of 5G when using surveillance UAS
5G ensures the bandwidth and minimum latency necessary for transmitting high quality images and sending commands in real-time, which makes it possible to operate UAS remotely from a specialised control centre.
For safe teleoperation, it is necessary to be capable of broadcasting high quality images from cameras installed in the UAS, while simultaneously exchanging commands or reference coordinates via remote pilot.
Andalucía 5G Pilot project
This project is part of the “Andalucía 5G Pilot” project, sponsored by the Ministry of Finance and Digital Transformation via Red.es, which is being developed by Vodafone and Huwei. The project was presented in November 2019 in Seville, Spain. It includes 33 practical cases that will apply the benefits of 5G technology in the following sectors: energy, industry, smart cities, tourism, agriculture, health and nursing, security, emergencies and defence, society and digital economy.
This is one of two projects the Spanish Government has sponsored through the first public call for 5G pilot project grants which took effect in spring 2019.This initiative has a budget of 25.4 million euros of which 6.3 million euros are co-financed by Red.es with FEDER EU funds. Vodafone will allocate an additional 1.8 million euros to this project, not included in the grant.