Olaeris is continuing to secure industry-defining intellectual property that will define drone designs and capabilities in the future, and may block some of its competitors.
In fact, some companies may already be encroaching on Olaeris patents that include capabilities like autonomous alignment and landing on a vehicle; autonomous recharging and refueling; and a thermal battery override that guards against fires and explosions. But of particular interest is U.S. Patent 9,801,201 for a new cellular control link that promises to transform the way all drones are flown and controlled.
The small device provides a multi-redundant control link for drones to fly their maximum range while helping them avoid each other, much like an automated air traffic control system. These are critical capabilities that commercial drones need to fly longer and safer missions, as well as to satisfy FAA safety concerns. The technology allows nationwide control of an aircraft, redundant control-link backups, collision avoidance, and massive data throughput between the aircraft and the ground control station.
Drones today use Wi-Fi links for command and control that limit range to only a few thousand feet and provide no safety backup if the connection is lost. To extend that range, many drones are pre-programmed with a flight path to navigate blindly beyond pilot control. But if a failure occurs, the pilot has no way of knowing and cannot recover the aircraft.
In 2016, companies like AT&T, Qualcomm and Verizon successfully tested single LTE drone connections to extend operating range and address these problems. However, a single connection still lacks redundant failsafes and delivers insufficient bandwidth for most commercial drone operations.
About the size of a credit card, the Olaeris device is based on patented technology that bundles up to a dozen 3G/4G/5G SIMMs on a tiny board. All video, audio, sensor and aircraft control data is scramble-encyrpted and then prioritized to ensure safe command and control of the aircraft using all available links. This means a remote pilot in New York City can fly an unmanned aircraft in Los Angeles while relying on multiple onboard cameras that provide a true pilot’s view around the drone in real time.
It also means sensor data can be transmitted in real-time rather than collecting massive amounts of data that must be processed later. Even if a connection is dropped, there are many more backup links that take up the slack and maintain flight safety.
“Companies like Amazon, Google and UPS want to deliver packages by drone, but they are severely range restricted. Energy companies want to remotely inspect power lines and pipelines without collecting massive data that must be processed later. Emergency responders want a first response drone that arrives before them, not after them. Broadcasters want to stream news and sports directly from the air. This technology frees drones to fly beyond borders, not just beyond-line-of-sight”, said Michael Dodd, Olaeris founding vice president of patents and intellectual property.
Olaeris has nearly 20 patents issued or pending that impact the future of unmanned aircraft operations and extend into other industries including electric vehicles, general aviation, radar control, battery manufacturing and camera sensors. Selected as a ‘Top Tech Innovator’ for the 12th Annual New England Venture Summit, the company will reveal more of its IP and business strategy to over 100 venture capital firms in Boston on Dec. 6, 2017. Licensing agreements and strategic partnerships are being explored now.