The precursor company to OmniMesh Technologies Inc. was originally formed in Syracuse, N.Y. in 2016 to address the challenges of command and control (C2) for unmanned aerial systems (UAS); i.e. drones. OmniMesh entered a business incubator called Genius NY, funded by the Upstate Revitalization Initiative which is a $250 million investment from New York state to establish Central New York as a global hub for the UAS industry. OmniMesh competed against 200+ global teams, was selected as one of six finalists, and received a $400k grant from Genius NY as seed funding to use edge computing technology to develop a drone command and control service offering.
As we developed our offering and immersed ourselves in the UAS industry, it became increasingly clear that FAA limits on beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight would be a long-term issue. Exceptions were only being granted on a limited basis. We determined that this was likely to constrain the market for network-based UAS command and control for the foreseeable future. As a result, OmniMesh pivoted away from drone C2 and towards a consumer network offering based on our mesh technology. We have a drone C2 product that we can revisit once the market opportunity materializes.
In developing our drone C2 offering, we found that drone communication posed a number of challenges and the solutions to these challenges will serve to strengthen our consumer product offering.
First, C2 messaging requires instantaneous communication so we incorporated signal discrimination technology that allowed us to identify drone C2 messages and prioritize them over other network traffic. As we consider markets for our consumer network offering, we view drones, connected cars, and emergency services as network clients that will leverage our signal discrimination technology to ensure instantaneous delivery of high priority messaging; while services such as video streaming that are more tolerant of latency are delivered at a lower priority.
Second, reliability is crucial for effective C2 and we applied military grade “sense and avoid” technology that identifies interference and automatically re-routes messages to clear channels or frequencies to ensure reliable delivery. This technology was developed from Department of Defense work done by ANDRO Computational Solutions, OmniMesh’s defense contractor partner. ANDRO has joined with OmniMesh to commercialize their xSAS technology, which has already been proven on the battlefield as a reliable delivery method when communications are being jammed by enemy combatants. In addition to “sense and avoid,” xSAS and related technologies enable software defined radios to do concurrent multipath routing to transmit a single message over multiple frequencies. This results in very fast transmission for large data streams.
Third, the long ranges for drone communications, the need to sustain communications across multiple access points, and the nature of drones as a moving target presented unique challenges for edge networking. OmniMesh addressed these challenges through a combination of antenna technology, network affinity, and variable power settings. Collectively these solutions are applicable for a wide scale network supporting roaming consumers and vehicles of all types.
At OmniMesh, we are very proud of our drone roots and are fortunate that the solutions we’ve developed for the problems of drone C2 have positioned us with a first mover technology advantage that puts us years ahead of our competition.