D2N Reaches for the Skies with Airspeeder and Alauda Aeronautics
What Formula 1 brings to track-based racing cars Airspeeder brings to the ultimate performance flying car. It’s hard not to read that sentence twice, but Airspeeder is the newest, most exciting sport to hit the skies and yes, it involves flying cars. Its comms requirements are taken care of by sports industry comms specialists, D2N.
As D2N MD, Jason Owen, explains, “Airspeeder and the engineering team at sister-company Alauda Aeronatics reached out to us as they knew of our reputation in the sports industry and were looking for a comms solution for their new race program. They were developing a flying racing car series and were in the test and development stage. This in turn called for a communication system between the pilot, who flies the aircraft remotely, the engineers and the flight test director.”
Alauda’s engineers initially wanted a comms system to cover two applications for the forthcoming EXA remotely piloted racing series and the Airspeeder crewed electric flying cars races. These were, firstly the R&D of the vehicles with a pilot and secondly a number of engineers who all communicate as a group.
The second application was also required to take care of a race management team that would ultimately manage the actual running of the races.
Owen continued, “Race Management need the ability to communicate with each team as a group to dynamically respond to racing condition changes. To meet all of their requirements we suggested they invest in a high-end radio system as this would take care of the teams’ needs and form the foundation of the race management solution moving forward.”
The comms solution proposed and supplied by D2N consists of Hytera PD662 radios and Raytalk noise-cancelling headsets.
Owen added, “We also built some custom wiring setups for the pilots so they could key up the radio whilst flying the vehicle. The headset we provided for the pilots allows for the connection of multiple radios and a race control channel. The evolution of these clever pieces of kit come from our long history of developing and supplying specialist headsets for motorsport.”
Looking to the future Airspeeder and Alauda will also require future communications post testing for racing, much like an F1 team has comms with their driver, as their prototype aircraft in turn develop into manned aircraft.
Owen said, “This second, comms post testing, stage is a longer-term solution but needs to be implemented in the near future for testing. The maximum distance for this part of the solution at this stage would be 1-2km and this would grow to over 5km in time.”
Considering Airspeeder is a relatively new sport with incredibly unique and specific requirements, the technology partnership with D2N has been seamless thus far.
Owen continued, “We tried to deliver over and above as we not only solved their initial comms challenge but also put them on a path where systems can be repeated and scaled to suit their operation as more teams come on board and the governance of race management requirements grow.”
As Airspeeder grows in stature and popularity the awareness around the sport has also been growing at an astonishing pace, as has its technical and comms requirements.
Jason Owen concluded, “For most of this year, it has all been about R&D and test flights of the actual vehicles. D2N is already an integral part of this amazing sport as we have supplied them with super reliable communications and a solution built to suit and futureproof their operations. Airspeeder and Alauda have the advantage of our many years’ experience providing comms to motorsport and they appreciate that this is a big plus for them. Also, many comms suppliers get wedded to one comms manufacturer brand, whereas the D2N approach is to think about the application before any brand is discussed. As a result, we have always delivered on every requirement and every promise for this amazing new flying motorsport.”
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