For all users of commercial UAV workflows, the drone itself is of course the most important piece of hardware to consider, but for most jobs other pieces of equipment are necessary to reap the most benefits. Providers of two of those payloads came together this month to announce a new partnership. In mid-April, UAV satellite connectivity platform provider Gotonomi and video streaming solutions developer Videosoft announced a new partnership that the companies claim will “simplify video live-streaming over satellite for UAV operators.”

The partnership opens up new possibilities for UAV operators to receive real-time video in nearly any environment. Videosoft has a number of options for low-bandwidth video streaming, and as a result of this partnership their software will be integrated with Gotonomi’s Velaris Multi-Link satellite communication module. Specifically, Videosoft’s software will be integrated with the Viasat Velaris, which is a connectivity service made specifically for UAV use cases. 

This kind of integration is particularly good news for operators whose jobs involve flying in areas of low connectivity and lines of sight, a growing sector as BVLOS operations become more common. The companies claim in their release of the news that the integration will “address scenarios where conventional communication methods fall short.” Videosoft’s software will be pre-loaded, and users will get a free trial with each unit.

The integration involves the Multi-Link Module from Gotonomi, which is a low size, weight and power hybrid terminal with integrated edge computing. Its System on Module (SoM) unlocks the ability for Videosoft’s video compression software (as well as other custom applications) to process data for streaming over Viasat’s Velaris global satellite solution, which is available “almost anywhere on the planet,” according to Gotonomi. The Multi-Link also includes an LTE module for low latency 4G communications for redundancy. Videosoft’s software, meanwhile, allows users to easily manage remote activities and guide remote decision-making with up-to-the-minute information and 24/7 access.

It’s not difficult to imagine a plethora of use cases for which this kind of technology would flourish, as secure video transmission is an important part of the workflow for a number of commercial UAV operations. In disaster situations like wildfires, for example, operators may want an aerial view of a situation but are unable to fly a crewed aircraft overhead, but having access to live video from a UAV can help fill that gap, even in situations when connection may not be at its strongest. Surveillance operations could also use this kind of secure video transmission, and surveying workflows in remote areas also would welcome this ability to stream live video in low-connection parts of the world.

“We are delighted to provide Videosoft’s software preloaded on Gotonomi’s Velaris Multi-Link terminals. There was always a vision for the requirement of edge compute to add value to UAVs operating in BVLOS situations and video compression has become a lead application,” said Matthew Hill, General Manager at Gotonomi in a statement. “Videosoft is pioneering ultra-low bandwidth streaming capabilities and we’re excited to enter this partnership to optimize this combined solution. This is a great demonstration of why both parties are part of Viasat’s Velaris network and why its L-Band network is a perfect choice for making safe and scalable BVLOS operations a reality.”

Stewart McCone, CEO at Videosoft, added, “This partnership marks a significant milestone for us, tapping into a wide range of opportunities in BVLOS operations by enhancing aerial communications. Our solution is rapidly gaining traction in the UAV industry, and this collaboration has taken it to greater heights. With video integration seamlessly embedded into the Velaris Multi-Link Satellite Terminal, organisations can confidently embrace the aerial autonomy revolution.”