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RED-UAS Project

Decentralized communications among several unmanned aerial Systems (UAS) experiences

RED-UAS Project


1.100.000 €


Research and Development Projects


January 2009 / December 2012


Aerial robotics is one of the main R&D topics for the AIN_tech Area of Measuring, Control and Communications. Several civil applications have been developed along the last 10 years. Among them: Infrastructures inspection, environment protection, safety and security.

The range of action of the UAS is currently limited by the use of radio frequency with direct sight from the vehicle to the land station. The objective of RED – UAS research Project has been to give and step beyond the state of the art, developing, testing and validating several communications systems looking for avoiding the need to have a direct sight. To get so, different alternatives of communication networks topologies and technologies have been tested.

The first results have been reached by an unmanned aerial vehicle (helicopter type) flying with no direct sight 16 km far from the control station. Besides, a direct real time video transmission was demonstrated during the test. It is theoretically possible, using the WiMAX network from Iberbanda, to monitor and operate an aerial robot at several hundred kilometers far from the control station.


These tests represent a big step ahead in the development of future applications related to the use of UAS in civil environments. Whenever a WiMAX network is available, the sole limitation will be the flight autonomy of the vehicle. Besides, these results could be extended to other unmanned vehicles used for different purposes (Civil Protection, Fire Protection, Police, etc.).


  • Among others, one of the tested solutions was the IEEE 802.16 WiMAX network. It is a communications standard using radio frequency signals at 3,5 Ghz and it is deployed over the 77% of the urban territory of Navarra (north of Spain).
  • AIN, in cooperation with Iberbanda (WiMAX network operator in Navarra and other Spanish regions), the Regional Government/Opnatel (owners of the network) and Alvarion (communication equipments manufacturer) has tested the availability of this network as a real alternative to control unmanned aerial systems.










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