Lte drone construct

Hello, all I would like to build a drone that can be controlled via LTE towers ( basically long-distance drones connected via the internet), I am struggling to get appropriate information on the LTE drone build. Has anybody constructed the LTE drone, can some on help with this regard?

LTE (4G) drones are common - you’ll need a companion computer ( with a LTE modem.

Then you will need to configure the MAVLink telemetry to route from ArduPilot -> Companion Computer -> Internet -> GCS. Otherwise, there are commercial software packages that can do this for you.

I am a bit confused now, could you please let me know when you want to use LTE? I can hover using telemetry and GPS also. My understanding about companion computers is that we can use them to add compute power on the drones irrespective of having LTE or not onboard.

In the case of LTE, the companion computer would be used to interface with the LTE modem. The companion computer would receive data from the modem and then format it appropriately for the flight controller. I think in this case, the companion computer wouldn’t need to be very powerful. If you only want text telemetry, something like an Arduino should be able to handle this communication. If you want some sort of video link, you’d need a more powerful computer.

You’d use LTE in order to get telemetry from locations which are farther away than your normal telemetry radio can reach.
You’d also need a LTE modem with your ground station in order to use this feature.
I’m new to ArduPilot but I’ve used cell phone modems (like Adafruit’s Fona) in robotics projects. It’s just another way of getting data between locations.

Thanks for the answer, I do understand the setup. However, my whole point here is to understand how GSC( Ground Station Controller ) can communicate with LTE Drones which is to say 40 Km away from the GSC point?

I think we need to Access the Drone via SSH or some kind of tunneling with the GSC connected to the internet ( say the laptop is connected to the internet). Basically how communication is established between the GSC and Drone which is far away?

It communicates trough lte of wich you said you understand the setup.

Hello cardo
i understand the set up
but i don’t understand how GSC talks to LTE Drone ?
Since Telemetry have a limited range of communication, does Ardupilot or pixhawk 04 have any kind app to connect GSC to the Drone with LTE?

Sorry, I hadn’t considered using the internet to communicate with the drone. I was thinking the drone and the GSC would communicate using text messages (this is the way I exchanged data with my robots). I’m afraid I chimed in on a topic without being able to contribute helpful information.

Yes i had look at this and found very useful. Thanks

Here’s a link to an interesting article relating to this topic.
Here’s a diagram from page 7 of the article.

This diagram helped me understand how things are connected. One of my concerns is making sure my ground station has internet access. It seems like this might require using a phone as a hotspot at times.

The UAVMATRIX looks interesting. I’d like to find an open source solution myself but the UAVMATRIX might be an easier way to get started. Thanks for the link @Matt_C

Correct. The GCS does require Internet access too.

In terms of networking the UAV’s companion computer and the GCS, you will need a VPN or a P2P service such as Zerotier.

That diagram is useful, but a little misleading. You don’t need to reverse SSH connections. Just a MAVLink telemetry stream and video stream.

APSync or Rpanion-server both work well.


Thank you soo much for the diagram, to be honest yesterday even i read a article related to AWS ( i need to spend some time on this aspect also, as it is getting more and more interesting ), apart the Diagram is really good and self explanatory. TCP bothers me sometimes ( Heavy weight ) but for now its OK.