UWB Technology Propelling Drone Capabilities Forward

As a spin-off start-up from a successful research project at the Royal Military Academy, Belgium - Agilica is unleashing a new type of drone technology that is set to change how drones are used in the maritime and offshore industry.

The company's innovative UWB (Ultra-Wide Band) technology provides a robust positioning platform to allow drones to operate autonomously or semi-autonomously whilst taking off and landing on a moving sea vessel, in dynamic and harsh conditions.

"UWB provides the critical positioning platform to allow drones to operate in harsh and dynamic conditions, something that has been a roadblock for the maritime and offshore industry in the past" said Agilica Co-Founder Hafeez Chaudhary. "Our UWB technology is able to make advanced offshore drone operations safer and more efficient, changing the way we think about drone usage in general on-board ships at sea."

Imagine a world where every sea vessel has an onboard multipurpose UAV system, just like every car has a satnav.

An autonomous drone that carries out routine inspections and maintenance of offshore assets whilst also providing an eye in the sky for navigation, especially in critical areas like when docking or navigating the Suez Canal. This would also have other benefits, acting as an always-on-duty sentry, monitoring the crew and responding to man overboard emergencies, yet also providing agile near-shore delivery and collection of documents, vital equipment, or supplies. Not just one drone but a team of drones.

The biggest challenge then posed is: How do we safely land drones on a vessel that is always in some degree of motion, due to the sea and wind, and without relying on GPS?

This is exactly where Agilica’s UWB technology comes in.

UWB is a short-range, high bandwidth wireless communications technology that has been used for decades in applications such as radar and medical imaging. In recent years, it has seen a resurgence in popularity due to its suitability for precise indoor positioning, which is essential for applications such as autonomous vehicles and augmented reality.

UWB offers many advantages over GPS for positioning, including higher accuracy, lower power consumption, and the ability to work indoors.

Agilica's technology is currently being validated in a number of demanding offshore conditions, and the company is now working with a number of major maritime and offshore strategic partners to bring its UWB system for drones to market and with the global drone market projected to grow by £17.7 billion through 2021-2025 according to ResearchandMarkets.com, this means it’s becoming increasingly important to have reliable systems in place for deploying drones safely and efficiently under difficult and dynamic conditions.

Until now, there has not been a standardized solution that works well across all situations - Agilica makes it possible for businesses to take advantage of all the benefits that drone technology has to offer whilst propelling drone innovation and maritime advancement. Stay tuned for more exciting updates!