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Communication terminal for small unmanned aircraft systems

e2E Services Limited (e2E), a provider of communications engineering and technical consultancy services to the satellite communications market, has launched a low-cost, low power, compact and lightweight satellite communication terminal, called e2Eaccess UAS-I, for enhancing communications connectivity of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS).

e2Eaccess UAS-I is described as a ‘revolutionary’ product that will transform the operation of sUAS by facilitating an improvement in their ability to fly in EVLOS (Extended Visual Line of Sight) and BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) conditions.

e2Eaccess UAS-I is a significant improvement on EVLOS and BVLOS communications, according to the company, and can easily interface with a variety of radio frequency modules, delivering connectivity at different operating frequency bands. This make it highly adaptable to different forms of monitoring and communication, while remaining lightweight and compact as required for sUAS use.

The core e2Eaccess technology platform utilises Software-Defined Radio (SDR) infrastructure, allowing new features (e.g. waveforms and protocol stacks) to be added quickly and easily, without needing to upgrade or reconfigure the hardware.

The SDR design approach is the outcome of a programme initiated and supported by the European Space Agency (ESA), which provided £4 million for technical due diligence. The product development was also funded by a grant from Innovate UK and supported by the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence.

The e2Eaccess UAS-I, which will be manufactured in the North East of England where the company intends to establish the UK’s first Satellite and Service Operations Centre for nano-satellite communications, is now available as an integrated product within an e2E satellite communications package or as a standalone modem (branded as e2Eaccess CDM).

It’s been designed to meet the needs of the sUAS industry, but the core modem technology is suitable for any airborne vehicle.

Commenting Barry Ross, CEO of e2E, said: “Our e2Eaccess product range meets the needs of numerous applications, including inspection and monitoring of infrastructure, precision agriculture, search & rescue, and mapping - to name a few. We are grateful to the ESA who assisted us with identifying a new and pioneering developmental approach designed and proven through a multi-phased product development contract.”

Catherine Johns, Director of the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence, commented: “The e2Eaccess UAS-I will play a vital role in facilitating the growth of the sUAS industry, which stands to transform business and improve everyday life through gathering intelligent data. We congratulate e2E on reaching this significant milestone in the development and commercialisation of this product, which reflects the strength of the skills that are on offer in the North East, and we look forward to watching their continued success.”

Neil Tyler

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