Broadband  |   Video  |  2023-05-19

Athonet’s 5G SA network and Alea’s Mission Critical Push to Talk fly on Elistair drone at CCW 2023

Curated by: Gert Jan Wolf - Editor-in Chief for The Critical Communications Review

Athonet’s 5G SA network together with Alea’s Mission Critical PTT solution installed on Orion Heavy Lift drone will be presented at the Critical Communications World in Helsinki.

The world of mission critical and tactical communications is constantly having to respond to the new challenges that organizations and companies face everyday, often expressing very complex needs that require a specific solution in order to be satisfied.

Over the years, mission critical communication solutions have evolved considerably, becoming increasingly practical and easy to use thanks to the evolution of technology and the constant studies and research carried out by companies specialized in the sector such as Athonet and Alea, a Company subject to direction and coordination by Leonardo S.p.A.

Precisely from this technological partnership was born one of the most interesting solutions that can be seen at the Critical Communications World in Helsinki from May 23-25.

At stand L70, it will be possible to see a complete 5G SA network and a Mission Critical Push-To-Talk solution installed on a drone for the first time. This is a very useful solution especially in contexts and territories that are difficult to reach by traditional means or where it is necessary to rapidly cover a large area with a dedicated network .

All this is made possible by ARM technology, which allows hosting powerful software technologies such as the 5G Core and a MCPTT server on very compact and light boards, that can be installed – for example – on a drone. A 5G radio (gNB) is hosted on the drone as well. 

On the Athonet stand in Helsinki will be present the Elistair’s Orion Heavy Lift (HL) tethered drone, which leverages the original Orion platform used by military and security forces in over 30 countries for ISR missions, and benefits from the same level of automation , robustness and safety architecture of its parent. The drone is capable of carrying payloads of 4 kg at 90 meters and 5 kg at 50 meters altitude, for flight durations of 50 hours, Orion HL is deployable in minutes and easily transported.

“First responders and users involved in mission critical operations are constantly faced with new challenges and it is our role to design and implement new solutions capable of satisfying their needs” – said Francesco Forti, PTT Project Manager of Athonet – “Thanks to ARM technology, together with Alea we managed to bring a complete 5G SA network and a MCPTT server on a drone, to offer missoin critical communication service to operator on the ground, which until recently was very complex to implement. We are sure this solution will allows users to simplify field communications and to optimize resources and times in situations where every second can often be decisive” 

“Bringing a mission-critical solution designed for large networks into such a compact system presented a major technological challenge” said Giuseppe Merlino, CEO of Alea. “This shows our solution can be used in any operational scenario, from large national networks to compact scenarios. Undoubtedly, this result consolidates the company’s standing as a point of reference for mission critical users and First Responders”. 

“The Heavy Lift ORION is a breakthrough in tethered drone capability allowing a wired platform to carry a heavier than usual payload such as but not limited to specialised communication equipment providing expansive coverage in hard to access areas and difficult situations.” David Moisan – Sales Director at Elistair.