Issue 54 Uncrewed Sytems Technology Feb/Mar 2024 uWare uOne UUV l Radio and telemetry l Rheinmetall Canada medevacs l UUVs insight DelltaHawk engine l IMU focus l Skygauge in operation l CES 2024 report l Blueflite l Hypersonic flight

36 Radio connections for uncrewed systems are going through significant changes. Cognitive radio (CR) is increasingly being adopted, using software-defined radio (SDR) to analyse the local spectrum and find areas that are clear, reducing the power required and extending battery life. Mobile ad-hoc networks (MANETs) are being used with swarms of UAVs to enhance radio connectivity, sharing data about the spectrum across a wide area. New, lightweight antenna designs with multiple feeds and beamforming are also improving the performance of radio links in the air, allowing for longer range connections beyond the visual line-of-sight (BVLoS) or reducing the power needed for close work. Meanwhile, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are being adopted in radio systems to boost cognitive architectures and the efficiency of connections, especially for highbandwidth video. At the same time, millimetre-wave radio technology (mmWave) is maturing to provide higher-bandwidth video links that are less susceptible to interference. The technology is maturing to be cost effective for vehicles on the ground and for high-altitude pseudo satellites (HAPS), where power is a critical consideration. MANET A mobile ad-hoc network (MANET) is a data network suitable for voice, data and video traffic. It is ad-hoc because it is not reliant on any pre-existing infrastructure. Data traverses the system by ‘hopping’ from one network node to another until it reaches its destination. Instead of using a centralised router, each node participates in routing traffic by forwarding data for other nodes. The determination of which node forwards the data is a dynamic decision made by an algorithm based on a number of variables, which include the availability of nodes in the network – which is often the number of UAVs in a swarm – the status New radio tech promises to take uncrewed systems further on less energy, Nick Flaherty reports Making waves Digital beam steering to connect uncrewed systems (Image courtesy of Radionor) February/March 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology