An Airbus-backed project focussed on harnessing the power of drones to speedily boost 5G coverage has completed a series of tests at a stadium in Greece.

5G!Drones project partners such as AI-driven power line analysis company Hepta Airborne, NCSR Demokritos and Cosmoste collaborated on the tests at the 9,000-capacity Stavros Mavrothalassitis Stadium, which is home to Greek third-tier professional football club Egaleo FC.

The tests were designed to check for any possible interference of 5G signals and test out the measurement procedure of 5G signal parameters. The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are seen as a way of quickly boosting connectivity in a matter of minutes, in contrast to the deployment of portable base stations, which can take weeks to install.

“We saw no interference to our systems from 5G transmitters, C2 over 5G was successful, the UAS Traffic Management worked well and the overall testing procedure was verified,” said a spokesperson for Estonia-based Hepta.

“Using drones at mass events with 5G equipment on board allows better network coverage, incredible internet speeds, and less network congestion.

“Drones can be deployed rapidly for this purpose granting much more flexibility in responding to sudden demand spikes.

“This test paved the way for the pre-trials currently planned to take place in the first half of next year. There we will have all partners’ subsystems more closely integrated and get our first real measurements of 5G equipment lifted by drones. After the pre-trial, there will be the final trial where all developed systems must be ready, integrated and the test procedure automated.”

5G!Drones, whose partners include Airbus and Nokia, has a primary focus on assessing the impact of UAVs on top of 5G facilities.

Henri Klemmer, chief executive of Hepta Airborne, admitted that unmanned aerial systems in the 5G network constitute an immense potential for different industry verticals.

“For Hepta Airborne, the conducted trials in the 5G!Drones Project promotes open innovation amongst industry top players and improves the implementation of novel technologies to our day-to-day power line inspection projects for potential and existing customers.”

Images: Hepta Airborne