Unmanned Systems Technology 024 | Wingcopter 178 l 5G focus l UUVs insight l CES report l Stromkind KAT l Intelligent Energy fuel cell l Earthsense TerraSentia l Connectors focus l Advanced Engineering report

34 T he development of the next generation of cellular comms technology has reached the point where it is ready to be rolled out for unmanned systems. Release 16 of the 5G specification was frozen at the end of 2018, and chips built to it are being launched in the coming months for use in smartphones, but the technology is also set to play a crucial role in the development of connected vehicles on the ground and in the air. That is because Release 16 is a key point in the development of cellular technology, as it provides high-speed data links at up to 20 Gbit/s – 20 times that of current speeds – as well as low latency and the ability to support short data packets from millions of autonomous systems. It is the first specification that meets the IMT-2020 targets set in 2012 by the International Telecommunications Union for what the International Mobile Telecommunication system would look like in 2020 and beyond. These new capabilities open up the use of cellular links for a wider range of applications across driverless cars, UAVs and autonomous agricultural systems. It aligns with the next-generation wi-fi 6 standard, allowing easier control of UAVs, as well as the 802.11p standard that is a variant of wi-fi which is used for the Digital Short Range Communications (DSRC) technology for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) links. The low latency of the link can be used for more responsive remote control of unmanned cars and aircraft, as well as providing more efficient data connections to and from roadside infrastructures for driverless cars for vehicle-to- infrastructure (V2I) comms. Overall, that allows autonomous vehicles to make decisions that are more informed. The high bandwidth can be used for streaming video from next-generation The impending introduction of 5G comms will have a huge impact on how unmanned systems are controlled and organised. Nick Flaherty reports Picking up speed February/March 2019 | Unmanned Systems Technology