I came across this while researching wireless solutions and seems very possible to create a long range WiFi connection between the GCS and aircraft using an onboard micro computer.

These are the specs that the company boasts:


Processor Specs: Atheros, 6th Generation, AR5414

Radio Operation:  Proprietary 900MHz

Interface:  32-bit mini-PCI Type IIIA

Operation Voltage:  3.3VDC

Antenna Ports:  Dual MMCX

Temperature Range:  -45C to +90C (extended temp version up to +95C)

Security:  802.11i, AES-CCM & TKIP Encryption, 802.1x, 64/128/152bit WEP

Data Rates:  6Mbps, 9Mbps, 12Mbps, 24Mbps, 36Mbps, 48Mbps, 54Mbps

TX Channel Width Support:  5MHz / 10MHz / 20MHz / 40MHz

RoHS Compliance:  YES

Avg. TX Power:  28dBm, +/-1dB

Max Current Consumption:  1.10A, +/-100mA

Indoor Range (Antenna Dependent):  over 400m

Outdoor Range (Antenna Dependent):  over 50km

Operating System Support:  Linux MADWIFI, WindowsXP, Windows2000

Advanced Mobility / Quick Handoff:  WindowsXP/2000 Utility with Enhanced Mobility Driver from Ubiquiti

Cisco Support:  CCX 4.0 Supported Driver/Utility also available from Ubiquiti


They also carry ones for the 5GHz and 700MHz frequency range.  If anyone has ever used these or could see a possible usage in a UAV, please comment!



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  • I'm using the 2.4 GHz picostation and bulletm2 on the ground station. I'm assuming you have a need for higher bandwidth channels, or you'd probably be using a data modem, which is far simpler to use, configure and provide power for. Here's a video demonstrating how video comes up in a not too dense urban region, but with lots of student wifi AP's in the area (>28): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abdgfFLFLoE

    When the video cuts out, the onboard wifi has just turned around a corner of a house. Everything else with clear video is direct LOS.

    This is 720p video @ 42fps with 19Mbps fixed bitrate on 802.11n wifi. Static video is around 4Mbps with spikes going to 12Mbps. This is before introducing a 60ms jitter buffer on the GS.

  • The Ubiquity gear is REALLY good and very low cost.

    I swear by it for a lot of different projects. Highly recommended.

  • The 4G connection idea sounds good.

  • I was thinking what about a 4G wireless card on a Gumstix running Linux?  You could add whatever daughter boards you need and transmit data over 4G.  Say, through an AES256 encrypted VPN tunnel.

  • You might want to get a Rocket RM900 instead and remove the board from the case for a UAV.  It is a little big, but transmits at 28dbm with two mimo transmit channels and there is a serial connector (ttl level) on the board.  The firmware SDK/source is available for download on request, so you could add one of the standard serial over IP protocols and use another rocket or a NanoStation (28dbm + 8dbi antenna gain, 60 degree/60 degree directional pattern) for a base station.  As an added bonus, you would get ethernet on both ends for a small IP camera/etc.  All these products will support 100mbps at long range or slower speeds at very long range. 

  • I used a UBNT picostation/nanostation (without casing) configuration for a rover a while ago. The picostation was connected to a micro ITX (100x100mm). Worked okay, but video latency was a slow down on that project. But even with 1000mW I wasn't able to tx/rx nicely over more then a distance as 1000m in the city. As far as I remember they had (back then) still a minor bug in the multicast/udp settings. I guess the bug is solved, but I haven't looked into it lately

  • I've experimented with XR5 (pretty much the same deal as XR9, except at 5 GHz so it can be used in Europe) and Wiligear's WBD-111 micro routerboard. AFAIK still the smallest and lightest board on the market at 9x8x2 cm³ and 70 grams including the XR5 module, peace of cake for nearly any size fixed wing UAV.

  • Sorry to tell that, it is useless for small drones. You need mainboard to plug this card to. Cheapest and lightest I can find is Mikrotik RB411, form factor 105x105mm about 100g. Then you can change firmware to OpenWRT. Pretty complicated....

  • Wow, Impressive!
  • I've personally run a Maxstream xtend radio at 73 miles with a rubber duck on one end a 1m dish on the other with 100% copy at 115K baud. So if you don't need images, thats pretty good.

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