Ground Tracking vs. Omni Systems for Ground Station Communications

Tracking and ground station communications are the components of UAV technology that make unmanned flight possible. By leveraging high-bandwidth, low-latency microwave connections, remote pilots are able to have all the benefits of manned flight without exorbitant cost or risking human assets.

Tracking methods for UAVs vary between one of two options. Omni systems and ground tracking both provide desirable results, albeit with different advantages. Depending on the application and parameters of the mission, certain tracking methods may be more preferred.

For short-range flights, omni systems are more optimal. While they provide sufficient results for unmanned flight missions, they are somewhat impaired. Omni system UAV tracking suffers from distance, throughput, and quality limitations. In these short-range missions, usually less than one mile, omni systems can be used to provide First-Person View (FPV) to remote operators on the ground. However, as the length of flight missions increases, omni systems become increasingly less reliable for high-quality relay of video and data communications to remote operators.

Ground tracking of unmanned aerial vehicles provides operators with a more reliable solution that increases in-flight efficiency. Ground tracking allows long-range and multi-mile FPV without compromising video and data quality. Due to its increased distance and duration capabilities, ground tracking becomes a viable solution across a variety of applications, giving operators the high-throughput and quality needed to make unmanned flight a successful endeavor.

Ground tracking has established itself as an effective solution in both the surveying and defense industries. By providing operators the opportunity to reliably conduct multi-mile FPV across large swaths of land, surveyors can complete jobs more efficiently and safely. Additionally, ground tracking has given defense applications a new edge in warfare and reconnaissance missions. By providing a fuller and more instantaneous picture of the battlefield, commanders can more accurately deploy resources into the field, allowing them to make the strategic decisions that provide an edge in active combat.