Doodle Labs to Enhance USAF Communication Capabilities

Doodle Labs, a company that develops long-range broadband communications for Industrial Internet of Things applications, has received the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the US Air Force. The award is for leveraging Doodle Labs’ long-range mesh radios to enhance the capabilities of Air Force communication systems. The Smart Radio, Doodle Labs’ latest mesh radio platform, is of primary interest for applications such as drone swarming and unmanned vehicle traffic management (UTM). Air Force teams have stated that the Smart Radio meets or exceeds the performance of competing radios while being 5-10x lower-priced, opening the potential for it to be adopted broadly.

Internet of Things technologies including the Smart Radio, have developed significantly in recent years, and there is an opportunity to bring these technologies beyond industrial applications. Capabilities like high-performance mesh networking, reliable long-range data links, operation at Federal frequency bands, and advanced encryption no longer require defense-focused development.

Air Force teams mention that their communication systems tend to be either inadequate from a capabilities perspective, so large/heavy that they limit their vehicles’ performance, or prohibitively expensive. With Doodle Labs’ Smart Radio, flyers can stream HD video from 10+ miles away on a secure link. It is lower SWaP than any comparable radio on the market (60 grams; 57 x 65 x 11 mm). And as mentioned earlier, its price point opens up opportunities for large-scale deployment as is the case in the commercial Industrial IoT market.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization.

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