Develop standard, re-usable inexpensive solutions for IP-enabled always-on UAVs over cellular IP networks such as GPRS, 3G, 4G etc.

Primary goal: Telemetry over low cost cellular [achieved in testing]

Secondary goal: Bi-directional GCS/Telemetry over cellular IP [achieved in testing]

Tertiary goal: High speed IP for streaming IP video over cellular 3G/4G

STATUS: Bi-directional telemetry over cellular IP (UDP or TCP) is now working. It has been flown successfully while logging live telemetry to a GCS at home, several miles away [distance is really unlimited]. Currently working on improving code, more testing and broader hardware support.

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  • Developer

    DroneCell arrived today. Starting development of a basic driver. 

  • you can attach your android phone to the UAV and use apps like CloudCam as a mjpeg video link, it lets you choose the resolution and quality to get less lag. Also you can use Trackme to get a GPS position, altitude, speed and bearing and tracking path, all on google maps. But is there a way to control the servos with the phone without having a science degree?

  • Developer

    Got the PhoneDrone talking to my Android phone, previously got it talking to the APM telemetry, so now I'm just stitching the software to get it all the way to the GCS. Progress at last...

  • Developer


    The second reviewer of that product says: "I have modded this gprs module for TTL usage by removing the usb to serial chip and connecting wires straight to the pcb."

    That's pretty much what you would need to do to connect to APM.

    Anyone willing to try? 

  • Developer


    I have also seen that GPRS modem integrated with Arduino directly here:

    So you're saying, use the 802.11n WiFi on short range, then switch ot 115Kbps GPRS modem once out of Wifi range?

    Good idea. The GPRS modem could be supported along-side the DroneCell, they are pretty similar. Just different init strings. Might be a lot cheaper alternative.

    Looking at this board here:

    I see the bottom of the USB GPRS modem. Oh look there, what do we have? 

    A PL2303, the most common Serial TTL (FTDI) to USB chip interface. It should be pretty easy to hook into the TTL behind the PL2303 and link it to the APM, as you suggest

    This may be a $25 alternative to the DroneCell's $120 cost. Interesting!

    Do you have any experience of this vendor?

    We Love Electricity Welcome to Circuits At Home, your source for information on all manner of home electrical equipment, from wiring to light fixture…
  • ASUS WL-330N3G only few ounces running of 5V running  OpenWRT have this GPRS modem and hacked serial to connect to APM. On "short" range it can be connected by using wireless connection and on long range it can be connected by using GPRS internet connection. Ethernet port can be used for IP camera.... 

    just brainstorming...  any ideas...

  • Developer

    Good point Veikko. You can't use the RC TX or RX, the XBee, or even carry a LiPO in a plane. Pretty much everything on board the UAV would be prohibited on a plane, except maybe the motors. They'd confiscate the plastic propellers as a "weapon", hehe. 

  • Developer

    Any use of diydrones is already in a grey area in most countries. Use IP and cellular links only as allowed by local laws and regulations. 

    Whether you decide to use such a solution in the US or not is up to you. 

    Not sure that this is the right forum to discuss the legality and regulations unless someone here is an aviation lawyer.

    [I am not a lawyer]

    I personally see the cell phone regulations as applying to humans using a phone, not telemetry. IP communications are standard on most commercial airlines and telemetry over IP is very common. Clearly on commercial airlines, the FAA does not consider telemetry to be covered by the cellphone prohibition. 

    In general, I would apply common sense: don't do this in an area where you are likely to cause interference or problems, or where you are likely to bump into an FAA inspector. 

  • Developer

    OG: Hooking up an IP connection on the ground is not the same as putting IP on a drone. We are trying to do something quite different. 

    Could you repeat your question about the phonedrone, I'm not sure I understood. 

  • Good point. They probably mean manned airborne platform but legally it might be conflicting. The FCC obviously only regulates the US, so it's hard to predict how the other countries' legislation are worded. I guess this would be illegal too then:

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need help understanding if we can rin it on a 2560 multiwii?

hi guys might have a project that require telemetry especially tracking and logging . how do I get about setting up an multiwii 2560 drone to communicate to GSM module and what would be on the server side if it uses 3G 4G systems im looking for people to collabthe idea is to run it off a web browser and serversuggested links pertaining to hardwares and codes on both aircraft side and server side would be helpfulthanks

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Telemetry via LTE, Controlling your infrastructure.

Hey guys, I'm brand new to this forum, but far from brand new to the sUAS industry.  I've been a engineer and developer in this arena since about 2012.  I wanted to hop into this discussion to get some insight and exposure for some of the stuff I've been working on.  I'm the Chief Innovations Officer at Fenix Group Solutions out here in D.C.  I wanted to expose you guys (hopefully reaching the developer community) to VCore.  VCore is a fully virtualized 4G LTE core network in the form factor of…

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WiFi Drone Disabler - Security Matters

Hey guys,I came across an article about making a Drone WiFi disabler on Make that I thought was cool. Then I realized that this could be a future problem for some people. In short, make sure that you are setting up encryption especially if running SoftAp.This hack basically makes use of the fact that some manufacturers don't set the encryption by default when first launched out of the box. This is just a heads up to everyone so you aren't a future…

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