We've just dusted off a few of our drones, to build emulated swarm-technology.
The concept is that only one of the drones in the "swarm" is equipped with a very accurate GPS, built by Adafruit.
This GPS, which doesn't have the speed/altitude/accuracy limitations enforced by the U.S military, alongside our own self-designed, and manufactured FOG's (Fiber-optic gyroscopes),enables our drones to position themselves within millimeter-margin from each other, fly in very tight, complex formations and perform very complex maneuvers that can't be done by a human pilot.
The drones will use a modified (for speed and responsivity mostly) Blockchain-core - or better put, Blockchain, but in 'Autobahn'-mode (In a closed network) for communication and as a basic layer in the system's O.S. (Minimal Ubuntu server for maximum compatibility, with a custom kernel with SDR hardcoded in the basic OS-functionality.)
All data from every drone will be available simultaneously for every other drone, as in a decentralized network, which is why the drone OS is built around Blockchain, instead of the common practice where the OS is merely just a platform which allows different codes to run.
The most important change to the code, is the ability to process "transactions"/s - where transactions are anything between syntaxes to be passed to the CPU, or a the data for a picture from the camera.
The ability to have zero "lagg" in order to steer the drones in real-time, and also receive data, as telemetry, visual (camera) and sensor data, was a challenging task, but not undoable. The downside is of course that it is totally incompatible with any other chain.
However, on the bright side, it is a kind of progress of the Blockchain core, for individual use, in a very small and closed network, why it is indeed Blockchain-tech after all.
Another difference? Confirmation time is 0 seconds - the whole system is built to be very fast. For radio-communication with the drones, both regular WiFi and HackRF One units are used for data-connection, although SDR (HackRF) is preferred over WiFi for telemetry, navigation and control, because of it's ability to jump freely between any frequency between 1 MHz up to 6 GHz (6000 MHz), both for reception and broadcast.
The RF-signal is amplified twice directly on the antenna output, and the default power is 3 W, but can in theory be a TV-tower, with megawatt transceivers. It's up to how far away from the location the drones can fly.
This radius is also affected by the drones battery, which are between 1400 mAh to 2200 mAh, ~7.5 Volt batteries, which allows exactly 30 minutes of flight, if there are no aerobatic maneuvers involved. The speed varies, from 10 km/h for most of the drones in the picture, and 180 km/h for the largest drone. (not in these pictures, but among this pages pictures.)
This decentralization lets multiple FOG's, as mentioned, sync simultaneously with the FOG on the drone with the GPS, calculating their own and others position, speed and direction of flight, extremely accurate.
The OS allows the drones to fly in very tight, complex formations and perform maneuvers not possible before in real-time, as the OS also have elements of artificial-intelligence in the kernel. Decisions that have to be taken in a split of a second, in a flood of endless data from all the sensors from all of the drones.
The drones are not only pilotless, but also autonomous and can change the pre-programmed flight-path on their own, because of anything from obstacles to changing weather-conditions.
All this is actually not processed on the drones, but on computers on the ground.
The data is uploaded by the more simple microcontroller on the drone to off-site servers, where deeper analysis is possible because of the increase in computing-power.
The system can make predictions, fly the drones, perform specific tasks and ultimately even 'talk to' other chains someday.
Right now, the drones are mostly able to find you (or someone else), lock on and follow, or do use the swarm-technology to automatically build a chain of drones that delivers, whatever you want to deliver, in a closed circle.
The hopefully possible outcome of this project, is however a more far-reaching technology that Bitnation Space Agency have in mind, and that is a new satellite navigation-system that allows drones and robots to build big structures in space, which can't be launched from Earth assembled, due to their size, like an interplanetary space-vehicle or a space-station.
Very much like a 3D-printer in space, where the drones are the printers. The "space"-drones will of course use another means of propulsion and the technology will be totally different, but the basics remains the same.
If you are among the few who have come close to launching something in space, that you actually want to control, and you probe the market for a navigation-program, you will soon find out that the prices are almost equivalent to costs of building a larger satellite.
Since there are no open-source versions, we have decided to share our code - but unlike our other codes, not entirely for free. If you have the resources to pay for a satellite and for launching it into orbit, donating to our space exploration, or helping us to fund different projects, are just footnotes for you, but means a lot for us and the space community. Please have in mind that all SpaceChain / #Bitnation Space Agency projects, are dependent on outside funding - mostly crowdfunding - but generally, we fund a lot of the projects with our own private money. That is why there is a fee for taking part of the code, and they're often not possible to share with others, since they are written for a specific hardware.
It's a necessity that humans start exploring the possibilities of large-scale space-exploration, as our planets resources are shrinking at a scary scale, and the global climate is already creating havoc.
That is why we all need SpaceChain to create a platform for Bitnation, to deliver all the services of a space agency.
It is also a demonstration of how Governance 2.0 is a better choice, and can handle even so extremely complex tasks, like having it's own independent space agency, among other things, like spin-offs that comes with the business, like new technologies, methods and discoveries, through the research and development in space science, that might now have anything with space-travel to do directly.
Space exploration is a necessity for our species survival, but also all living things on the planet.
Please support us with this cause.
We're after all, all in the same boat.