Launched in 2017, ATIS’ UAV Initiative started with a focus on low-altitude, light-weight UAVs. So far, it has contributed an analysis of member companies’ use of drones for internal and external business needs. The goal is to help identify the enablers and solutions for cellular-as-a-drone communications technology. These field-testing summaries provided important data characterizing the ability of existing cellular networks to offer communications services to UAVs.
ATIS then began developing a baseline report identifying areas where cellular services can provide important functionality to support UAV command and control. From these findings, ATIS published a report focusing on the value delivered by cellular services to a range of UAV applications.
Beyond providing communication services, the cellular network can provide other valuable contributions such as identification and corroboration of GPS location information — an area of high interest in meeting regulatory needs. ATIS is now considering new technical areas that will be studied in a second phase of work, such as the provision of communication services from UAVs, including both high-altitude and low-altitude applications
Iain Sharp, ATIS