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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

A low cost, secure radio communications system for UAVs

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

A low cost, secure radio communications system for UAVs, Phase I
sci_Zone, Inc is seeking to develop the LinkStar-AV, an inexpensive, secure, and reliable satellite based radio system for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The LinkStar-AV architecture treats the radio system as a secure node on the internet through the GlobalStar satellite communications network, providing continuous coverage between the UAS and ground. Control and monitoring is provided by an adapted version of our QS/Vehicle Management System (VMS), which is used on a range of commercial aircraft and certified under DO-178B (Level D). The on-board flight processor of the LinkStar-AV radio manages software via the Xen Hypervisor providing an added level of reliability, safety and security from malicious attacks. For the Phase I research program we shall develop the prototype of the LinkStar-AV1p hardware, implement a secure link to stream data from the UAS to the QS/VMS ground control station via LinkStar, and develop a prototype of the communications and control software for use on UAS. We will also update QS/VMS ground server and flight software as required to allow it to work with the LinkStar-AV1p radio. The goal by the end of the Phase I is to demonstrate the technology and its feasibility, and present a plan for implementation and commercialization. More »

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