SqwaQ, a pioneering leader in air-to-ground (A2G) LTE connectivity that enables safe BVLOS drone flights, has been recognized by the AUVSI with a 2020 Xcellence Award for Technology & Innovation. Winners were selected from a pool of accomplished applicants across various categories.
“The AUVSI XCELLENCE Awards honor innovators with a demonstrated commitment to advancing autonomy, leading and promoting safe adoption of unmanned systems and developing programs that use these technologies to save lives and improve the human condition,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI.
The SqwaQbox is the first carrier approved 4G/LTE modem for Airborne LTE Operations (ALO) that delivers robust, multi-redundant connectivity for safe BVLOS flights. The 270 gram device enables multiple cameras and sensors to stream video in real time with nationwide Command and Control (C2) of the aircraft. This provides the remote pilot with an in-the-cockpit experience that includes pilot view cameras, the capability to fly in controlled airspace, remote operation of ADSB or Mode-S transponders, voice communication to the remote air traffic control tower using aviation VHF radio, and more. The remote pilot can safely integrate with manned aircraft traffic and even take off or land at the world’s busiest airports. These capabilities, and more like it, are already patented by SqwaQ and part of a longer range roadmap that integrates unmanned traffic, rather than UTM segregation which is restrictive and not practical.
A major obstacle facing the UAS industry has been the ability to maintain command and control over long distances via a multi-redundant communication link that not only streams video and sensor data, but can pass muster with FAA safety requirements. SqwaQ understood this from the outset and manufactures the AS9100 Certified SqwaQbox to those aviation standards, with an eye toward additional FAA certifications that may become mandatory for all UASs the future.
Over the last ten years, the drone industry has been guided by robotics engineers and drone enthusiasts with little knowledge of FAA rules or FAR safety guidelines. This has led to challenging FAA authority over the airspace and ignoring aviation safety guidelines in hopes of allowing tens of thousands of flimsy drones to invade the safest airspace in the world. To the FAA this is a dangerous threat. SqwaQ technology is the missing component that resolves this conflict and integrates all connected aircraft in the sky, allowing safe integration of any properly built Remotely Piloted Aircraft.
Today in 2020, major aviation manufacturers are quietly designing their own Remotely Piloted Aircraft solutions with an eye toward full FAA type class certification and safety compliance. That’s not a Part 107 waiver or Part 135 exemption that restricts operations. It means passing a rigid safety certification like Boeing, Bell and Airbus routinely undertake with manned aircraft, to fly unfettered in the airspace and deliver value to customers that toy drones cannot achieve.
SqwaQ is engaged with many aviation manufacturing partners to lead the transformation to certified Remotely Piloted Aircraft. That RPA moniker will denote a real aircraft, flown freely across controlled airspace by a real pilot holding a conventional pilot certification and pedigree. SqwaQ anticipates that OEMs using its BVLOS technology may eliminate 75% of their competitors in the drone industry, as certified aircraft push out the flimsy toys being fobbed off, particularly in public safety.