Ericsson will work closely with the National Science Foundation-funded Aerial Experimentation and Research Platform for Advanced Wireless to foster research efforts on the use of 5G technology for smart agricultural drone operations.
The entities will collaborate with a consortium of industry partners to advance remote monitoring and assessment of fields, farms and livestock, the networking and telecommunications company said Tuesday.
As part of the research efforts, AERPAW demonstrated a customized drone to monitor a field of cattle to gather information on grazing patterns. The drone footage was streamed over a 5G connection powered by an Ericsson base station and cloud packet core network. The footage showcased network performance of uplink speeds of over 100 megabits per second and downlink speeds of over 450 megabits per second.
The 5G connectivity is envisioned to help smart agriculture operations such as animal monitoring and tracking, as well as delivery of supplies for commercial use.
“Wide-area network coverage is needed to safely expand drone operations beyond visual line-of-sight missions, and this research provides the improved capabilities for more diverse and critical applications,” said Per Wahlen, vice president and head of business development at Ericsson North America.