HELIKITES CREATE AIRBORNE MOBILE AD-HOC RADIO NETWORK (MANET)
On Friday 19th October 2007, a small three cubic metre Low Visibility Skyhook Helikite lifted an ITT Spearnet Radio to 200ft above Allsopp Helikites flight testing grounds. Each Spearnet radio acts as a relay to every other radio, to automatically create a mobile, ad-hoc, internet-protocol network.
Good line of sight reception was reached out to six miles between hills. This was an area about 100 X greater than the radio would perform alone.
These radio waves can carry a lot of information including real-time video. However the high band width, high frequency radio waves required for this cannot bend around terrain. So without a high altitude relay they are normally restricted in range to less than 0.6 miles.
With a Skyhook Helikite a single soldier can create a large, reliable and widespread radio network in just a couple of minutes, from one position. Compare this to the present method, of using hundreds of soldiers to fight and capture every hill in the district for radio-relay purposes and then providing hundreds more soldiers to constantly defend them from attack.
This test was carried out with the Helikite flying at only 200ft which is the legal altitude limit. However, there was enough spare lift to have flown the 700g radio to 1,500ft if allowed.
This correlates with previous unconnected radio-relay tests in the USA using similar Helikites flown to 1,500ft that sent packet video data 61 miles in flat terrain and provided excellent coverage in hilly areas.
Helikites are inexpensive, all-weather and permanent. Everything needed, including Helikite, helium cylinder, line and reel only comes to a weight of 15Kg and can easily be fitted into a small rucksack.
Therefore this is a significant event, because for the first time there is an easy and practical way to spread the full power of the internet over the full surface of the land or sea without the need for expensive infrastructure.
Now unmanned ground vehicles and unmanned sensors can be deployed anywhere in significant numbers and permanently controlled from any position in the world via the internet.
Its not just for soldiers. New civilian orientated MANET radios lifted on small Skyhook Helikites allow anyone to create their own instant, long-range, internet protocol radio network. Useful for civilian users such as firefighters, coastguards, police, loggers, mineral surveyors, mountain rescue etc.