How AT&T’s Tethered Drones Can Become Temporary Cellular Towers
Long-time Slashdot reader Nkwe shares an article about AT&T’s “Flying COW” drones — their Cell (tower) On Wings drone technology that’s helped restore cellphone service after Hurricane Ida and other natural disasters.

“The device is a cell site situated on a drone engineered to beam wireless LTE coverage across an area of up to 40 square miles.”

The weather-resistant drone can withstand extreme conditions, and its thermal imaging can help search and rescue teams find people in buildings, tree cover, and thick smoke… The drone has the potential to hover over 300 feet and is connected by a tether attached to the ground.

When someone texts, calls, or uses data, the signal is sent to the drone and transferred through the tether to a router. The router pushes information through a satellite, into the cloud, and finally into the AT&T network. The tether also provides constant power to the Flying COW via a fiber, giving the drone unlimited flight time.

Its flying capabilities allow it to soar 500% higher than a terrestrial Cell-on-Wheels mast, expanding how far the signal reaches, though more drones can be added to widen the coverage area. The drone is small and versatile, making it easy to set up, deploy, and move during rapidly changing conditions, like firefighters chasing a wildfire.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

By admin