Rajant announced today advancements in its Kinetic Mesh® Wireless Network technology that will power in-air mesh networks, enabling 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 capitalize 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 VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) drone will allow users to fly in single, swarm or tethered configurations, opening new doors of commercial opportunity.

Rajant Chairman and CEO Bob Schena said: "Rajant’s network technology now makes it possible for one pilot to operate many x2i aircraft concurrently, with flight times of 45 minutes.

"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 minimizes the amount of time necessary to configure the drone and the Rajant network for flight.

xCraft CEO JD Claridge said: "Unlike other drones, the x2i takes off and lands vertically, and transitions to forward flight using its high-efficiency wing.

"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 1.5lb of payload. No longer do organizations need to choose between the hovering precision of a multirotor and the speed and endurance of a fixed wing; the x2i meets both criteria.