Drone communication using LimeSDR


I’m new to this whole SDR, I’m trying to create my own transmitter/receiver for my drone in LTE band. I need TCP/IP stack for the App to communicate between the two sides (drone & operator),

is it possible to connect LimeSDR in both sides and create virtual Ethernet port at the OS level. the goal is to have the flexibility to communicate between the two sides and configuring it based on the required distance, bandwidth, latency … etc

any advice on the way forward is appreciated.

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Hi @abu_abudulla,

Everything is possible, as they say :slight_smile: However, I would suggest that a more optimal solution is probably going to be to have an off-the-shelf LTE radio in the drone, as this is going to be far smaller than a LimeSDR + e.g. Core i7 PC, and will consume a great deal less power. Then run Amarisoft or OpenAirInterface on a PC with LimeSDR attached to create the LTE base station.

Of course, LTE is perhaps overkill if you just want a point-to-point link with a virtual NIC at either side. There will be technically far simpler solutions, but again if this means a software radio on both ends and you want a broadband connection, it will mean having to carry a fairly powerful PC aloft in addition to the LimeSDR.

thanks @andrewback,

I tried to search for more than a month of a way to connect my drone (with raspberry pi) and i ended up here. i couldn’t find cost effective LTE radio (appreciate if you can suggest here). all what i found is enterprise level equipment. the best was mobilicom MCU-30 lite which is only 200g (battery supplied) but they shocked me with their price, $4.5k per unit.

LTE is not preferred here, it is just that my setup is working now using a normal 4G data package from our operator but the latency is more than 3 seconds (VPN is involved here) !! it is not acceptable for such application.

Replacing raspi with more powerful computer is a matter of time, SBC is becoming more powerful and cheaper with time. so i guess I will go initially with odroid if i manage to learn all the puzzles of SDR. my octo-copter can left a round 3 Kg of equipment with 16,000 mAh battery so little fun is OK i guess.

Any simpler solution away from SDR is much appreciated as well.

How about wifi?

@modimo wifi is not suitable option, it cannot handle more than 200m (AC type) with very good antenna (i was asking in the Ubiquiti forum as well). in addition, it is line-of-sight protocol some how, i need NLOS protocol with zero loss as much as possible. i was waiting for wifi halow but it seems it is not ready in the market yet, and again the bandwidth is not sufficient for even video feed.

I dont think you can get COTS equipment with 200m NLOS range. It’s just physics. Commercial equipment has transmitted power limit.
Putting power limit and transmit licenses aside.
It should be possible to design radio link offloading most of signal processing into fpga. However budget for such project is way higher that the price of single unit of “enterprise level equipment”. Maybe, in time, someone will develop such radio link and release the sources but it just has to take some time.