Telemetry over cellular IP

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.

Members: 563
Latest Activity: on Thursday

Current (most common) Telemetry Architecture

Proposed Architecture:

Discussion Forum

Cellular Modem library development

Started by Andreas M. Antonopoulos. Last reply by Miguel Angel Perez Nov 13, 2014. 43 Replies

Using RN-XV wifly module for telemetry (iPhone / Android)

Started by Ryan Rasmussen. Last reply by Tommy Larsen Jan 7, 2013. 37 Replies

Iridium GO! satellite telemetry?

Started by Guillermo Ortiz. Last reply by Bruce Baxter Oct 13, 2015. 19 Replies

Hooking up Drone cell

Started by Jonathan McClanahan. Last reply by Richard Sterling Oct 22, 2014. 17 Replies

Adding GPRS Telemetry to Walkera X350 Pro

Started by Robert Haddad. Last reply by German_ti Mar 19, 2017. 13 Replies

Serial to UDP or TCP

Started by Wilhelm Matilainen. Last reply by Strike Eagle III Sep 28, 2016. 12 Replies

Particle electron instead of telemetry radio

Started by Euan Ramsay. Last reply by Hein du Plessis Feb 11, 2018. 10 Replies

Add AT/Modem commands to Arducopter v2.9.1

Started by Bernt Christian Egeland. Last reply by Veikko Vierola Jul 30, 2013. 10 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Telemetry over cellular IP to add comments!

Comment by Andreas M. Antonopoulos on March 26, 2012 at 12:27pm

Using the Raspberry Pi is a great idea. I'm not sure we need that much horsepower, but it will certainly be one of the options to consider. 

To run a USB host we could also use an ATMega328p or AT32U based board, and use a USB 3G modem with that. 

Again however, we would need to write some code to initialize the device from the APM. Not a problem, I can do the software side...

Comment by Veikko Vierola on March 26, 2012 at 12:13pm

Bim, how do you plan to send the commands to the APM with the Pi? 

Comment by Andreas M. Antonopoulos on March 26, 2012 at 12:12pm

I'm good at software and data communications, but not hardware. Any one on the group more experienced with hardware, Arduino and electronics?

Step 1 is to get telemetry out of the APM and onto a serial line. For the time being I am using an Arduino UNO to read the TTL. If I can do that on the Arduino, then I can also do it on the PhoneDrone and use my Android as a bridge. Or, hook up the DroneCell and write code for it. 

Unfortunately I am having some problems at this early stage. I have connected the TTL and I am able to read data at 57600, and I see MAVLINK data. However, it seems the parity bit is "set" on some of the data, as if the telemetry port is transmitting 7-E-1 instead of N-8-1. I'm confused - any ideas?

Comment by Andreas M. Antonopoulos on March 26, 2012 at 12:07pm

The goal is to not replace any of the existing software (Mission Planner, QGCS etc). They all support TCP/UDP transport, so we can use that.

It is a matter of taking the serial from the telemetry and transporting it over IP.

There are a number of possibilities for the transport, as many have already pointed out:

1) DroneCell 

I am in contact with the manufacturer of DroneCell and they are shipping a unit to me. There is an AVR library for it, but that's about it. There's no instructions, no APM library to initialize the modem with AT commands, no wiring diagram etc.

There are also a bunch of other GSM/3G/EDGE modules from Telit and Sparkfun that could be used instead of the DroneCell, but very similar.

Expensive hardware, cheap monthly on T-mobile SIM cards (pay as you go). 

2) USB GPRS or 3G modem - Cheap hardware, expensive monthly (at least $30-$60 a month for service). Again, no libraries, no documentation, no wiring diagrams, no plug and play exist for this solution

3) Smartphone as gateway - Jailbroken iPhone and Android phones can use the USB TTL, just like drone cell does. We can write software to bridge to IP. This capability has now been backported to Android 2.3.4 and therefore can run on many stock, cheap, unlocked Android phones. Again, no documentation or libraries to run this easily, nor diagrams and wiring. 

Comment by Bim on March 26, 2012 at 11:42am

My idea us getting a Raspberry Pi(On the next batch unfortunately) with a USB 3G modem working. It's running Linux so getting an internet connection to work shouldn't be much of a problem. The Raspberry Pi would be connected to the Arduino and a camera(Using a small USB hub). The Arduino would keep the aircraft flying(Flight controller) and control the camera gimbals. While the Raspberry Pi is sending commands to the Arduino, streaming video or even analyze the video using OpenCV.

I think it's a great opportunity to add computing power and reducing the costs. The Raspberry Pi costs $25, a modem costs about $50(You could probably get it for free from your ISP, here you can anyway).

Another option is using an Android based device with Android v3+ which allows you to connect it to the Arduino easily. However it'd be very expensive.

Comment by Dan Neault on March 26, 2012 at 10:59am

Mission planner is just .net for the most part, so yes, and drone cell is suppose to come with AVR libary's, so likely yes as well.


I honestly haven't worked with drone cell, but by the link, it should do what is needed.


It should stream the serial from APM, and we just need an interface for mission planner. Was going to do it someday, but atm I'm more interested in the DCM stuff then telemetry.





Comment by Veikko Vierola on March 26, 2012 at 10:43am

Is there any working code for the DroneCell available so that it would work with APM and M-Planner?

Comment by Dan Neault on March 26, 2012 at 10:28am

We already have this


The question is improvement?


Comment by Veikko Vierola on March 26, 2012 at 10:20am

3G telemetry is definitely the way to go. One benefit would also be the ability to send video and telemetry via same 3G link. Today the usage of continuous 3G data is also very affordable and costs only few euros in a month. 

Fact is that the Xbee system already has the interface working with the APM and MissionPlanner. So could this 3G device/software be created so that that the APM and MissionPlanner would stay as they are and the 3G device/software would just emulate the Xbee link the way that the APM and MissionPlanner wouldn't know the difference?


© 2019   Created by Chris Anderson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service