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Swarm of drones will lift WiFi at the crash site

In the work of the Ministry of Emergency Situations and rescue services, which eliminate the consequences of a natural disaster or a man-made disaster, a crucial factor is a reliable connection. But sometimes disasters occur in extremely remote areas, where only satellite phones work. How to raise a normal network for the whole group?

The laboratory of self-regulating systems at the Polytechnic Institute of Lausanne developed the SMAVNET project (The Swarming Micro Air Vehicle Network), which should solve this problem. They propose to use a swarm of ten unmanned aerial vehicles, which in a matter of minutes will organize a wireless network over a wide area. Enough to throw them into the air (video filming the process of network deployment under habrakatom).

The advantages of such a system are fast deployment time, a wide coverage radius, cheap equipment, ease of launch (the protocols are designed in such a way that even a non-expert can easily launch a network).

Each robot is made of lightweight polypropylene, weighs 420 grams, wingspan 80 cm.

To control the aircraft used elevons on the wings. The electric motor is fixed in the back, the lithium-polymer battery lasts for 30 minutes of autonomous work. Autopilot controls altitude, speed and turning radius. The microcontroller built into autopilot uses a minimalist strategy, obtaining data from just three sensors: a gyroscope and two pressure sensors. The drone controllers are made on the Toradex Colibri PXA270 board running Linux. The GPS module and the ZigBee transmitter (XBee PRO) are needed to record the drone's movement path.

As seen in the first video, to deploy a WiFi network, simply turn on the drones and throw them into the air. Landing must be initiated from the ground interface.

The second video explains the communication algorithms in a swarm of drones (borrowed from ants).

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/105557/

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