Drone-hunter Department 13 wants to build flying mobile phone towers
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Mobile phone towers knocked out in emergencies could be replaced by drones with long-life batteries using a technology patented by ASX-listed drone hunter Department 13.
Department 13 (ASX:D13) announced yesterday it had been awarded a patent for a technology that “dramatically reduces power consumption and cost in radio transmitters”.
Department 13’s shares climbed 10 per cent to 10c following the news.
“Imagine a fleet of D13 drones equipped as small cell towers that can restore communication services to Houston and Florida immediately after the hurricanes,” D13 chief Jonathan Hunter said in a statement.
“Instead of weeks or months without service, residents and first responders can have voice and broadband as quickly as it takes to launch the drones.
“Unlike current cell towers, drones can adapt their flight as the demand for communications on the ground changes.”
D13’s main product is MESMER, a computer system that can target and take control of drones in flight — and force them to land.
The counter-drone hardware costs $US400,000 and has already been purchased by commercial and government customers.
The new technology will improve the range and efficiency of future versions of MESMER.
But the technology also has other potential applications, such as increasing the battery life of drones, phones, computers and cameras.
It could be used to build a new generation of high-speed 5G mobile phone networks using many small antennae rather than cell towers.
Department 13 reported a $6.5 million loss from $1.1 million revenue last year. It had $4.9 million in the bank at the end of June.
Department 13 has been contacted for comment.