At the Smart America Expo, Yan Wan from the University of North Texas exhibited unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) she developed that are capable of providing wireless communications to storm-ravaged areas where telephone access might be out.
Typical wireless communications have a range limit of only a hundred meters. However using technology developed by Wan and her colleagues, they were able to extend the Wi-Fi reach of drones to five kilometers.
In a grant from NSF, Wan is applying similar technology to next-generation aviation systems. One day, Wan's research will enable drone-to-drone and flight-to-flight communications, improving air traffic safety, coordination and efficiency. 28 July 2014