Amazon seeks FCC approval to run mysterious wireless tests that could be related to drone delivery

Posted: , by Alan Friedman

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Amazon seeks FCC approval to run mysterious wireless tests that could be related to drone delivery
Amazon has filed an application with the FCC to "evaluate prototype equipment and associated software designed to support innovative communications capabilities and functionalities." The test will require the temporary placement of low power, fixed base transmitters near company headquarters in Seattle, Washington. The application notes that additional tests would be conducted outside at the company's rural facilities in Kennewick,Washington.

The equipment being tested will be transmitting for a very limited period of time, just 5 minutes per hour, per day, per week on a specific channel or band. Power levels will be low and the prototype being tested offers "innovative communications capabilities and functionalities." Amazon also added in the filing that it will not broadcast on channels related to public safety, aeronautical, or public coast radio services.

One clue about the nature of the testing is the inclusion of Neil Woodward as Amazon's contact on the application. Woodward is a former NASA astronaut who is now a senior manager of Amazon's Prime Air. Using a fleet of drones, Amazon plans to deliver same day orders from the air. The testing could be for a communications system that would allow Amazon to stay in contact with its fleet.

If Amazon is about to test same day drone deliveries, a U.S. certified pilot, with a clear line of sight to the drone. Last month, the online retailer made its first delivery by drone in England.

FCC filing by Amazon lists the frequency bands it proposes to use for the wireless tests

source: FCC via BusinessInsider

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