Drone Swarm to the Rescue


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In a future weather emergency, a drone, or swarm of drones, could be the first rescuers on the scene.  Telstra.com has been testing a “drone swarm” with current 4G technology and anticipates even greater success with the arrival of 5G.  A drone swarm is a collection of drones flying in formation and controlled by one pilot. When searching for people or vehicles, or assessing damage, the swarm has the ability to identify targets and quickly and effectively map out an affected area.

Sending out a remote team of “cell on wings” flyers could temporarily increase mobile network coverage in a specific area and relay information back to rescuers. Telstra sees a future where 5G technology would be capable of streaming a large amount of live data in real time.  Operating multiple drones through a single platform would improve rescue efficiency when time is critical. 

Telstra Chief Technology Officer Hakan Eriksson said that Telstra’s mobile network was an essential element in enabling the use of drones in emergency situations.

“The mobile network allows us to quickly send and receive data from the drone, and allows the pilots to safely set up missions for multiple drones through a single platform with visibility and control over all the drones that are flying,” Eriksson said.

“In the future, 5G will allow operators using this type of technology to run missions end-to-end with an extensive data uplink capability. This would mean being able to stream large sets of live data (such as high resolution video) back to operators to be able to use straight away, and back to the server for even more intelligent decision making.”

October 15, 2018

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