Recently, Sky-Drones’ founder and CEO, Kirill Shilov, held a webinar to talk about the company’s core expertise and focus on enterprise drone operations, as well as to showcase the company’s newest product, SmartLink.

From flight control to connectivity, and cloud-based drone fleet management, Sky-Drones, a full-stack avionics solutions company for UAV enterprise businesses, develops both hardware and software products to empower drone service providers and manufacturers to build and operate drones for commercial applications. Used by numerous well-known companies, Sky-Drones’ technology helps them to reduce their time to market from years down to months, and sometimes even weeks.

“In the 21st century, it’s all about creating the ecosystem and platform for operations,” Shilov said. “Therefore, we are quite happy to say Sky-Drones has almost no drones but, at the same time, it plays a very important role in the drone industry.”

In the last decade, Sky-Drones has developed the three bottom layers (payload and sensors, onboard computer and connectivity, and finally flight control core, navigation, and mission planning) of its “pyramid to success” so companies can focus on the number one layer, customer applications. Shilov believes “the future of drones is all about connectivity”, and that’s why Sky-Drones developed SmartLink.

Available for $3,990, SmartLink is an AES encrypted and secure drone data link with an integrated onboard computer. Separated into two modules, Air and Ground, the SmartLink combines three datalinks into one, removing the need for multiple, separate telemetry systems. Attached to the UAV, the Air module can handle two real-time HD video streams from cameras (CSI and HDMI), as well as autopilot telemetry and control. Additionally, it comes with resources for user applications and various interfaces, like USB, UART, I2C, SPI, to connect payloads and integrate it with a flight controller and/or ground control station. With a simple micro-USB connector, the Ground module interacts with any kind of device, including laptops, smartphones, tablets, or desktop computers, and displays all data, including the two camera video feeds in real-time, through Sky-Drones’ SmartAP GCS App that integrates Altitude Angel’s and AirMap’s airspace services. 

The system features a 20km range, or unlimited if used together with an optional LTE modem, which connects to a USB port on the Air module and removes the need for the Ground module – provided that the drone is within an LTE coverage area. To cover a much larger area than your coverage zone, Sky-Drones’ specialized antennas ensure an extended range by several dozens of kilometers. Included with the SmartLink set, Sky-Drones provides an FPV camera with a resolution up to 1080p at 60 fps that connects directly to the Air module.

To end the webinar, Shilov talked about how SmartLink integrates with Sky-Drones’ ecosystem. Apart from the previously mentioned SmartAP GCS App and services, the company developed a web-based application, Sky-Drones Cloud, for overall and individual drone performance monitoring. From remote control, flight logs storage to user and inventory management and AI-inspired analytics, the cloud integrates all Sky-Drones’ software, allowing for easier cooperation within a team and across multiple devices.

According to Shilov, “Sky-Drones Cloud is like Google Analytics but for drones.” Together with SmartLink, the Sky-Drones’ ecosystem becomes even richer and provides an easier way for users to set up operations and to collect and understand the data.