Happy Independence Day!

As we prepare for fireworks, barbeques and all of the excitement that comes along with tomorrow’s holiday, we’d also like to recognize what Independence Day means to the U.S. By definition it’s the celebration of the Declaration of Independence and the birth of our incredible country as an independent nation. On this holiday, we’re also reminded that millions of people have sacrificed (and continue to sacrifice) in order for us to gain and retain our freedoms and liberties. As a company that has had the honor of working in the military and defense industry for more than two decades, we are humbled and grateful to all of the men and women in the armed forces.   From the bottom of our hearts, with respect and admiration, we’d like to thank all of brave men and women who have served and sacrificed for this great country — including those who are currently serving today.   FreeWave and the Military The government and defense industries have been woven into FreeWave’s story from early on. As previously noted, we have worked in the defense markets for more than two decades providing wireless communication solutions – including command and control (C2) links for unmanned systems. Our embedded communication solutions for drones and robotics have logged more than 2.5 million flight hours without a single link failure. As the number of unmanned systems for air, land and water increases, it is imperative for manufacturers and operators to use rugged, reliable and secure C2 solutions with high-speed data transmission. We are dedicated to continuing to provide robust and trusted solutions. Not only do we focus on providing a great technology, but a solution that can be trusted to operate when human lives are at stake. We hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July holiday!

Robotics on the Battlefield

We’ve all seen those futuristic Sci-Fi movies where man and machine fight alongside each other in the throes of battle. While that might have seemed far fetched years ago, the reality is that robotics are increasingly becoming a part of our military today. In fact, the Pentagon recently requested prototypes of combined human-robot squads. As the robotics industry becomes increasingly important to military officials, technology providers are working hard to develop solutions that will support increasingly automated military efforts. A recent report estimates that robotics in the military will grow at a CAGR of 9.5 percent between now and 2023. According to the same report, robotics will be most used by the military in Europe during this time frame, followed by North America. The U.S. military continues to test out the possibilities for leveraging robots to protect soldiers, increase visibility in combat situations and generally streamline operations. Not only are these robotic applications groundbreaking — but they’re also really cool.  News stories on new robotic technology boast of robotic ships, heavily armed unmanned ground vehicles, and robotic tanks – with more innovative technology coming out all the time. For example, there is a robotic insect called the “RoboBee” which was created for crop pollination and disaster relief efforts, but could also potentially lead to robotic insects used for military purposes as the true “fly on the wall” concept — equipped with audio and visual capabilities. There are also recent reports around the push for robots designed to carry wounded soldiers out of battle instead of forcing medics to enter live combat zones. These robotics may also support troops behind enemy lines in a variety of other ways to prevent risking more lives, such as dropping medical supplies to soldiers in dangerous areas. Future technologies may have the power to deliver specific medicine and even blood to wounded soldiers. While there are robotic models being tested and deployed around the world, perhaps the most uncertainty lies in the data. A Data Disaster? As recently reported in Popular Mechanics, the robotics of tomorrow may be facing a serious data problem. The article notes that for one, robots are both consumers and creators of data. Technology needs to be able to sustain the sheer amount of data required for robotic operations. The article also highlights the importance of collecting and using the right data instead of ALL the data. The good news — thanks to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) — is that modern technology is becoming more favorable for managing data and it will further be supported by secure command and control (C2) links. Wireless data communications solutions are available that enable reliable C2 links have been trusted by the government and defense industry for decades. Not only are they proven in combat, but they are applicable for today’s complex data-centric systems, including robotics.  With appropriate security measures and encryption capabilities in place, C2 links can be better protected to thwart malicious attacks on these automated systems – a critical function when the C2 links enable operations of the device. Further, when frequency-hopping techniques are used there is an additional layer of security, as these types of devices leverage coordinated, rapid changes in radio frequencies that naturally avoid interference. When FHSS technologies are combined with FIPS and AES security standards, as well as multiple user-defined cryptography keys (up to 32), they are equipped with a highly robust link that is well suited for military and combat operations. While robotics brings concerns to the data conversation, technology providers are working to keep up with modern data needs. With a secure C2 link, technology is further hardened for combat applications. It will be interesting to see the developments in robotics for the military in the next couple of years. What are some of the most interesting robotics applications you’ve seen?  

Video: What are the Future Uses of Drones?

While drones are responsible for one of the latest tech crazes to hit the mainstream, it’s safe to say that you should not expect them to invade your airspace anytime soon. However, the influx of these flying smart machines may not be as far off as you might think. With heavy-hitters like Amazon, Google and Walmart recognizing the immense opportunity of using drones for shipping and logistics purposes, its no wonder that people are saying “the drones are coming!” Industrial Applications for Drones What could prove to be more promising than the consumer-driven demand for flying drones is the use of that technology in industrial settings and applications. Already, we see companies using drones for the following scenarios: Emergency Response Enables immediate action, providing emergency response teams with fast, flexible visibility to assess critical situations. Utilities Safely allows for the quick inspection of high voltage power lines and wind turbines, helping mitigate worker risk and improve monitoring. Military & Defense Assisting with intelligent surveillance and reconnaissance missions to deliver timely, relevant, and assured information to thwart potential threats. Oil & Gas Protects and helps maintain extensive miles of pipeline covering large, remote areas that would otherwise require enormous amounts of time and resources. Agriculture Creates more efficient farms by monitoring inventory, growth, water and fertilizer levels, and crop health to facilitate production and increase yields. Public Safety Supporting firefighting operations by providing more up-to-date information at a lower cost, while reducing the number of responders in harm’s way. So what does the future hold for these next-generation technologies? It’s hard to say really. One of the biggest hurdles still to jump is figuring out how these aircrafts will fit into the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) existing airspace regulations. There is no doubt there will be new policies that are drone-specific on the horizon. In fact, the FAA has already taken steps in that direction by requiring drone owners to register their aircrafts as a first step in ensuring the safety of everyone who uses the skies. Let’s just assume that over then next five years policy and technology come together and we finally have lift-off in the drone world. What’s next? Check out this video courtesy of Be Amazed that explores 10 amazing futuristic uses of drones:

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Designed, manufactured and tested in the USA.

© 2023 FreeWave Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved.