AT and T COW Drones Successfully Restored Phone Service, Cut by Ida Hurricane

att-all-weather

Putting all their efforts to reconnect southeastern communities, cut off by the extreme weather caused by Hurricane Ida, telecom companies are deploying AT and T COW drones to the affected areas. Those cell-on-wings represent new technology, used for restoring communication and wireless coverage during natural disasters. The COW units are extreme-weather resistant and can operate almost indefinitely.

It is somehow similar to the last year’s idea of using Drone’s thermal cameras to identify people with coronavirus

AT&T COW Drones Restore Communications with Affected Areas from Hurricane Ida

AT and T confirms it has sent its latest generation of COW drones to the southeast whose electricity and communication connection have failed due to extreme weather conditions, caused by Hurricane Ida. COW drones that have been sent there can hover over 300 feet in extreme weather conditions, providing LTE phone coverage over an area of 40 miles. The COW drones are incredibly resistant – they can handle wind of up to 50 mph.

AT&T’s Network Disaster Recovery Team has developed these aerial communication relay stations almost a decade ago. Since then, several generations of COWs have been tested.

The first test of AT&T COW drones was done back in 2017 when the units were deployed in Puerto Rico to handle the situation, caused by Hurricane Maria. In 2018, COW drones operated 200 feet above Mexico Beach, Florida to provide LTE coverage to residents of the affected areas, deprived of phone service.

How do COW drones work? 

They have small antennas that relay information sent from phones to a ground station router via optic fiber inside its tether. The information is sent to a satellite, which then redirects it to the AT&T network.

Unlike other types of drones, which focus on speed and maneuverability, COW drones are proud of their durability and resistance. These are their focus points. Their design is projected to withstand the heavy rain and wind of storms, as well as sub-freezing weather conditions for fly a drone, and unbearable heat, caused by fires.

COW drones are not just a temporary solution to the problem with communications failure, caused by hurricane Ida and other natural disasters. COWs can be used in many emergencies. 

COW’s thermal imagining technology can penetrate through the various roofing materials and can inform firefighters for possible traps that may lie inside. What is more, COW’s sensors can help first responders identify the exact location of people, trapped beneath buildings. COW drones can be also used to locate people, lost in remote settings.

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