Cellular communication for drone operations

Delair Cellular Service

What it does

There are two options to establish a communication link between the pilot’s Android tablet running Delair Flight Deck and a Delair UX11: Delair Link or Delair cellular service. Delair Link uses a 2.4 GHz radio link to communicate with the drone and relays the data to the Android tablet using a proprietary radio link. Delair Cellular Service establishes a 3G connection directly between the Android tablet and the drone using a cellular network. This connection uses a secured and proprietary machine-to-machine (M2M) link.

Delair Cellular Service is also available on DT18 and DT26X UAV system (see Q&A).

Delair UX11’s communication options

How it works

All Delair UX11s come with a cellular communications module and a preinstalled Delair SIM card. A second Delair SIM card is provided to be inserted in the SIM card slot of the Android tablet running the flight control software (all format SIM adapter provided).

There is no activation procedure. At start-up, both the drone and the ground station connect to the local cellular provider, which establishes a link between the Android tablet and the drone. The connection ensures a command and control link over the cellular network.

There are multiple reasons why you should choose to use the cellular service:

  • A cellular link ensures communication even when obstacles such as hills, trees and buildings obscure a direct link. This ensures stability of the link in challenging environments.
  • A cellular link allows virtually unlimited communication range in an area with network coverage. If BVLOS flights are allowed, the 50 km range of the Delair UX11 allows flight distance of up to 25 km out and back in good weather conditions.
  • For users using Delair Link, a cellular link provides a backup link for environments where the 2.4 GHz does not work well due to signal interference or competing frequencies, and may provide better landing position information if the vehicle had to make an emergency landing.
  • A cellular-enabled drone makes your Delair UX11 futureproof. The 3G and 4G-ready M2M connectivity allows for future product enhancement through software updates or by connecting other devices and services to the M2M network.

The cellular service has certain limitations:

  • Delair cellular service works almost everywhere in the world, however, there are some countries that are currently not covered by our cellular partners (See map below)
  • The cellular service is subject to local providers’ coverage: it might not be available or be of poor quality in areas sparsely populated where cellular coverage can be limited.
  • Delair cellular service allows full command and control of the drone but may not support all features available with the Delair UX11 and Delair Flight Deck ground control software. For example, the photo preview feature of Delair Flight Deck during flight is currently not enabled when using the Delair cellular service.

There are 3 zones with different pricing. Zone 1 covers most of the Western world as well as China, Australia, and South America. Zone 2 covers large parts of Africa and southeast Asia. Zone 3 covers select islands, African and Eastern countries.
Delair UX11 kits come with a 2-year cellular plan (at no additional cost) for Zone 1 and Zone 2.

  • In Zone 1, users will enjoy up to 40 hours of flight time per month connected to the cellular service.
  • In Zone 2, users will enjoy up to 20 hours of flight time per month connected to the cellular service, with the possibility to extend it to 40 hours/month.

Following the initial two years of service, all plans may be extended in one-year increments.
For operations foreseen in zone 3, customized plans will be tailored by Delair sales representatives.

Delair cellular service will greatly enhance your operations as it will enable you to maintain communication with the UAV despite obstacles or challenging terrain and it will extend the range at which you can operate.
For optimized UAV operations, Delair recommends using Delair cellular service together with Delair Link:

  • Use Delair Link for short-range phases of the flight (take-off, landing, short-range operations)
  • Switch to Delair cellular service to extend your range when the direct radio link signal becomes weak or obstructed.

Combining Delair Link and Delair cellular service will offer the most reliable and long-range communications solution available for a professional mapping drone.

Availability Worldwide: Countries and Telecoms Operators

Delair cellular service is currently available in all countries shown on the map below (through our roaming service).

Click on a country to see the available telecom operators:

 

Delair Telecom test Placeholder
Delair Telecom test

Zone 1

Zone 2

Zone 3

Not covered

Clic on a country on the map above to see the available telecom operators.

Zone 1

Countries

Albania

Anguilla

Antigua and Barbuda

Argentina

Australia

Austria

Azerbaijan

Bangladesh

Barbados

Belgium

Bermuda

Bolivia

British Virgin Islands

Bulgaria

Canada

Cayman Islands

Chile

China

Colombia

Costa Rica

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Dominica

Dominican Republic

Ecuador

Egypt

El Salvador

Estonia

Faroe Islands

Finland

France

French Guiana

Georgia

Germany

Gibraltar

Greece

Grenada

Guatemala

Haiti

Honduras

Hong Kong

Hungary

Iceland

India

Ireland

Israel

Italy

Jamaica

Japan

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg
Macao

Malta

Mexico

Moldova Republic of

Monaco

Montenegro

Morocco

Netherlands

Netherlands Antilles

New Zealand

Nicaragua

Norway

Panama

Paraguay

Peru

Poland

Portugal

Puerto Rico

Reunion

Romania

Samoa

San Marino

Serbia

Singapore

Slovakia

Slovenia

South Africa

Spain

Sri Lanka

St. Lucia

St. vincent and the Grenadines

Sweden

Switzerland

Taiwan

Thailand

Trinidad and Tobago

Turks and Caicos

Ukraine

United Kingdom

United States

Uruguay

Vatican City

Venezuela

Zone 2

Countries

Afghanistan

Algeria

Bahrain

Belarus

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Botswana

Cameroon

Cape Verde

Chad

Congo

Congo RDC

Gabon

Ghana

Greenland

Guadeloupe

Guernsey

Guinea Bissau

Guyana

Indonesia

Isle of Man

Jersey

Kenya

Korea-Republic of

Kuwait

Macedonia-Republic of

Madagascar

Malaysia

Montserrat

Niger

Nigeria

Pakistan

Philippines

Rwanda

Seychelles

Suriname

Swaziland

Tanzania

Uganda

Zambia

Zone 3

Countries

Benin

Cambodia

Cote d’Ivoire

Equatorial Guinea

Fiji

Gambia

Guinea

Iraq

Kazakhstan

Mauritania

Mauritius

Mongolia

Namibia

Nepal

Sierra Leone

Sudan

Tajikistan

Togo

Tonga

Uzbekistan

Virgin Islands

To check actual cellular coverage in the area of interest, the area where the flights will take place, cellular 3G coverage maps of the local providers should be consulted.
If local providers do not provide detailed coverage maps, online providers such as opensignal could be used. Be aware that these opensource maps are based on user data. They will not track signal quality of areas without cellular activity. Data quality in neighboring urban areas and along roads may give a hint about the quality in those areas. Always check the link quality prior to flying.

Q&A

Can I travel to different countries and use the service?

Yes. Your SIM card is configured for a given zone (normally based on your country of purchase unless otherwise specified) but you can bring your drone to a different zone and it will continue to work. Just know that when you travel to a different zone, the amount of flight time you can perform per month with a cellular link might be reduced depending on the zones you travel to.

Can I use my own service provider and/or use my own SIM card?

No. Delair cellular is based on a dedicated, worldwide, secured service. It does not work with third-party services and/or SIM cards.

What if there is no cellular service in my area?

If your country is not listed or if there is no cellular coverage at your particular flight location, use Delair Link.

Is it possible to turn the cellular link off for a flight?

Yes, the cellular service can be enabled and disabled by the user for a given flight.

How secure is the service?

It is a fully private and secured service. It is based on a private VPN (Virtual Private Network).

How can I check my 3G credit left?

Just log into your MyDelair account.

Is Delair Cellular available on DT18 and DT26X systems?

Yes, Delair Cellular Service is also available on DT18 and DT26X systems (as an option). Contact your Delair sales representative for details.

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