Helping Drones Communicate with Joseph Camp, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at SMU


Finding a good WiFi signal is becoming a common, daily concern, as our smart devices multiply, especially in the commercial world. Dropping a connection while checking Instagram is not exactly a catastrophe. Losing connection to a drone flying over a disaster area is another story. On today’s podcast, our host spoke with Professor Joseph Camp Ph.D., Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. After receiving an $850,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to find innovative solutions to improve drone communication, Camp and his team are working toward infrastructure for three-dimensional drone connectivity.

On the podcast, Camp discussed the difference between 2D and 3D communication, the challenge of weight to energy ratio, and the reality of using drones to help solve ground-based network outages during a crisis. “What we found was that, unlike the 2 dimensional communication that we’re used to, we noticed that when we took the drone up to a certain height, that directly below the drone we were having no connectivity to that ground,” Camp said. “And this happened only about 60 feet in the air that we started to experience this effect.”

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