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Amazon Seeking Wireless Testing Permission In Washington

Amazon is apparently gearing up to test out different prototypes of wireless technology and is eyeing a green signal from the U.S. government

Both Facebook and Google have been conducting numerous wireless tests under the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) experimental authority in recent years.

A report from Business Insider, which unearthed a government filing from Amazon, reveals that the e-retailer will follow in the footsteps of Google and Facebook and is looking to conduct ground-breaking wireless tests that may aid drone delivery.

Amazon will run the tests from facilities in Kennewick near Seattle in Washington according to the request filed on behalf of Amazon by Neil Woodward, former NASA astronaut and currently the senior manager in charge of certification and flight test for Amazon Prime Air.

Woodward’s request and area of specialty at Amazon point to a communications system that will control Amazon’s delivery drones. Drone delivery processes have already been initiated in rural England by Amazon.

What Does The Filing Detail?

The details of Woodward’s filing point towards a wireless services specifically designed for Amazon’s Echo home speakers and the Kindle mobile handset. Other possibilities include development of a communications system to assemble Amazon’s data infrastructure and even physical security systems.

The FCC application by Amazon details further capabilities of the proposed wireless systems and the tests it would be conducting.

“These tests would require low power consumption, associated indoor phone units and fixed base temporary transmitters,” notes the application.

Moreover, the wireless testing would be restricted to the company’s employees and in the event the devices do not comply with FCC guidelines, they would be withdrawn and taken back from employees. The scope of the intended project will be limited.

Tests scheduled out of Seattle will be conducted within a closed space. The Kennewick operation site will be confined to a 5 km radius. Typical transmission time for temporary base station operation is around 5 minutes in an hour per day, per week on a specified band.

Ten mobile units and three fixed transmitters are to be utilized and will comply with FCC guidelines under different frequencies. As required by U.S. regulators, the testing needs to be conducted by a certified pilot with visual line of sight to remote controlled vehicles or drones.

Earlier, in March 2015, Amazon had been approved for delivery test drones and by August 2015, the company was running a drone testing site at the rural area of Snoqualmie, half an hour from Seattle.

Amazon seems quite serious about creating package delivery drones for customers. The process would involve development of a system that establishes proper communication of devices. Currently, the company has its line of drone development centers in different countries including the U.S., England, Israel and the UK. 

If the wireless drones get a go-ahead from the FCC, you could see them deliver Amazon packages to you door in the near future.

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(Via TechTimes)