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FAA Moves to Further America’s Cellular-Connected Drone Operations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently collaborated with Verizon-owned software company Skyward to experiment with and advance the use of cellular-connected drones to further technological advancements within the administration. The duo signed a three-year memorandum of agreement to pave a path toward more complex drone use. This usage includes developing visual line-of-sign or BVLOS, universal traffic management, and one-to-many operations. The collaboration allegedly began in conversations with FAA officials on potential applications back in 2017. The pair stated that there is great potential for Networked Remote ID and its potential to enable beyond visual line of sight operations.

Most commercial drones currently on the market utilized unlicensed spectrums, which according to the MOA press release, are restricted in range and can be interfered with, therefore limited its use for more demanding operations. However, Verizon offers 4G coverage over a spectrum protected from interference, which could be advantageous for drone operations, says the FAA.

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