22 May 2015 UAV field demonstration of social media enabled tactical data link
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This paper addresses the problem of enabling Command and Control (C2) and data exfiltration functions for missions using small, unmanned, airborne surveillance and reconnaissance platforms. The authors demonstrated the feasibility of using existing commercial wireless networks as the data transmission infrastructure to support Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) autonomy functions such as transmission of commands, imagery, metadata, and multi-vehicle coordination messages. The authors developed and integrated a C2 Android application for ground users with a common smart phone, a C2 and data exfiltration Android application deployed on-board the UAVs, and a web server with database to disseminate the collected data to distributed users using standard web browsers. The authors performed a mission-relevant field test and demonstration in which operators commanded a UAV from an Android device to search and loiter; and remote users viewed imagery, video, and metadata via web server to identify and track a vehicle on the ground. Social media served as the tactical data link for all command messages, images, videos, and metadata during the field demonstration. Imagery, video, and metadata were transmitted from the UAV to the web server via multiple Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, and similar media accounts. The web server reassembled images and video with corresponding metadata for distributed users. The UAV autopilot communicated with the on-board Android device via on-board Bluetooth network.
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Christopher C. Olson, Christopher C. Olson, Da Xu, Da Xu, Sean R. Martin, Sean R. Martin, Jonathan C. Castelli, Jonathan C. Castelli, Andrew J. Newman, Andrew J. Newman, "UAV field demonstration of social media enabled tactical data link", Proc. SPIE 9468, Unmanned Systems Technology XVII, 94680D (22 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2177114; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2177114

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