Drones and 5G: Swoop Aero Receives 5G Innovation Initiative Funding

drones and 5G swoop aero 5G innovation fundingSwoop Aero Awarded Australian 5G Innovation Initiative Funding to explore the benefits of drones and 5G.  Swoop Aero’s award-winning drone logistics platform has been used to deliver medical supplies to remote islands, pharmacy supplies to far-flung Australian communities, and for COVID-19 response in Africa.

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

Swoop Aero will be providing access to sustainable air logistics across Australia with 5G-enabled aircraft, following their selection as one of only 19 recipients to trial the use of 5G in the nation as part of the Australian 5G Innovation Initiative.

Run by the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, the program provides businesses in different industry sectors and locations with opportunities to trial and test applications that demonstrate 5G’s capability and benefits.

“With the introduction of 5G-enhanced mobile broadband, the potential use cases for drone network operations across Australia, and globally, skyrockets,” said Eric Peck, Swoop Aero’s CEO and co-founder. “From the United Nations to the United States Agency for International Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we’ve been trusted to create value by sustainably transforming health supply chains by some of the biggest names in global health, so it’s great to be able to bring our global expertise to such a fantastic initiative right on our own doorstep.”

This new announcement follows the launch of Swoop Aero’s most advanced aircraft, Kite™, which is capable of travel at up to 200km per hour and able to operate across geographical ranges of more than 180 kilometres on a single battery charge with an increased payload capacity of up to 5 kgs.

Drones and 5G

During the trial, Swoop Aero will make use of information gained while operating in Africa in order to provide Australians with two commercial applications of advanced drone technology: aeromedical deliveries, including medical supplies such as COVID-19 vaccines, and coastal patrol and emergency response, involving utilising automated drone technology including 5G technology to facilitate high-quality live streaming to be used by computer vision models to identify shark sightings and drowning incidents.

The introduction of 5G-enhanced mobile broadband allows for ultra-reliable and low-latency communication that equips drone logistics networks with more extensive network coverage, improved operational uptime, and sophisticated technical capabilities such as real-time tracking and monitoring. It will address current challenges faced by these industries, and unlock the skies for further drone logistic network use cases into the future.

“The Australian landscape is vast and variable, and drone networks present innovative and effective solutions to not just the tyranny of distance, but also poor infrastructure, traffic congestion, unpredictable waterways, mountain ranges, and challenging terrain,” continued Peck. “Through providing aeromedical deliveries and coastal patrol search-and-rescue during this trial, the Swoop Aero team is looking forward to delivering seamless supply chains that bring emotional and economic prosperity to the Australian communities we serve.”

Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.