Investigation of Low-Cost Drone Hardware for Search and Rescue Operations

Investigation of Low-Cost Drone Hardware for Search and Rescue Operations

Innovative Irish company
Squadron Six Aerospace is an Irish Company focussed on developing a drone swarm solution for Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. IMaR Technology Gateway, through the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher programme, supported Squadron Six Aerospace, in its development work. Drones are very topical at the moment and are the focus of increased research, particularly involving drone swarms, which have been shown to have a shorter response time in successfully locating targets as against individual drones.

Innovation process
Following on from identifying and deploying an off-the-shelf flight controller system, the emphasis changed in the second voucher, to developing the intra-drone communications using mesh networking. Having achieved mesh networking, the challenge was to extend this to encrypted mesh networking, providing a secure communication environment. This was completed using the third voucher.

The Squadron Six Aerospace & IMAR Technology Gateway partnership
IMaR has provided three detailed state-of-the-art reports to Squadron Six Aerospace covering off-the-shelf flight control systems, mesh communication configuration strategies and kernel building methods to provide encrypted mesh and alternative build mechanisms, as the basis for custom drone development. Weekly meetings and joint archived chat records provided a continuous knowledge transfer over the duration of the project.

“The strategic solution that the IMaR Technology Gateway presented to Squadron Six Aerospace has enabled the company to build a significant body of knowledge that is now being realised in their test lab in the form of their drone swarm solution called “Drone Team Six”. In 2019 “Squadron Six Aerospace” was selected for second place in the global Galileo Masters GNSS special prize category sponsored by the German Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure. In 2020 Squadron Six Aerospace expanded its research operations into the UK when it became a member of the South West Regional Defence and Security Cluster (SWRDSC) and also the UK Meta-materials Special Interest Group (SIG).” In 2022 Squadron Six Aerospace established a research partnership with the University of Tel Aviv, Israel”.

Kevin Doyle, MD, Squadron Six Aerospace Limited