Rajant has announced recent advancements in its Kinetic Mesh® Wireless Network technology to power in-air mesh networks, allowing drone manufacturers to strengthen drone-to-drone and drone-to-ground communications. Kinetic Mesh delivers communication and video backhaul capabilities, supporting public safety, border security, search and rescue, and site survey applications, among others.

One of the first to capitalise on these latest advances is xCraft, a mass-market developer of innovative drone technology and company that received investments from all five ‘sharks’ on SharkTank. Coupling Rajant’s onboard intelligence with its new x2i Hybrid vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone will allow users to fly in single, swarm or tethered configurations, opening new doors of commercial opportunity.

"Rajant’s network technology now makes it possible for one pilot to operate many x2i aircraft concurrently, with flight times of 45 minutes," said Bob Schena, Rajant Chairman and CEO. "We’re pleased to partner with xCraft and bring more intelligence, mobility and autonomy to UAV communication infrastructures. Building upon our recent selection as the network infrastructure provider for the Sharp INTELLOS™ Automated Unmanned Ground Vehicle (A-UGV), x2i enables Rajant customers to cover greater aerial distances while supporting various drone payloads for video, LIDAR and chemical detection."

A VTOL drone that combines the hovering ability of a multirotor with the attributes of a plane, x2i leverages Rajant’s InstaMesh® routing software to deliver broadband over VTOL aircraft capable of transmitting applications up to 300Mbps for such sectors as public safety, oil and gas, mining, forestry, agriculture, and homeland security. InstaMesh software also minimises the amount of time necessary to configure the drone and the Rajant network for flight.

"Unlike other drones, the x2i takes off and lands vertically, and transitions to forward flight using its high-efficiency wing," said JD Claridge, CEO of xCraft. "Its capabilities, together with Rajant’s wireless network infrastructure, open the door to hundreds of commercial applications that can benefit from high-speed, long-range flight."

The VTOL aircraft can fly farther and faster than any other multirotor in its class, with the ability to fly for 45 minutes at speeds up to 60mph while carrying as much as 1.5lbs of payload. No longer do organisations need to choose between the hovering precision of a multirotor and the speed and endurance of a fixed wing; the x2i meets both criteria.

xCraft will show the x2i Hybrid VTOL drone today through 11 May in Rajant Booth No. 1908 and its own Booth No. 345 at AUVSI XPONENTIAL in Dallas, the largest global community of leaders in drones, intelligent robotics and unmanned systems shaping the future of industry.