FAA and Verizon unit Skyward to test cellular-connected drones

Telcom giant Verizon’s Skyward affiliate and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have signed accords to test cellular communications in drone operations. Their cooperation will seek to advance development of secure and reliable standards for universal traffic management, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights, and one-to-many missions.

Cellular tech to provide safer, longer, reliable drone communication

Skyward and the FAA signed a memorandum of understanding covering testing of various drone operations. The document, “Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) – Cellular Technologies to Support UAS Activities,” lays out the framework for trials of cellular communication networks in command and control functions. Interfacing with Verizon’s US cellular assets, Skyward software will manage drone connections to wireless networks to provide better reliability and data protection than most UAS currently use.

The majority of commercial drones rely on unlicensed spectrum…