Danielle Kennedy | March 31, 2017
The project, SBXG, is part of a collaboration with Notre Dame's Wireless Institute. Researchers are creating advanced wireless technology to produce the next generation of Wi-Fi and network drone control.
That means drones could one day be controlled by wireless technology, not a pilot.
Officials say they are working towards "test-bed platform" at city-scale for cutting edge wireless research.
"By allowing them access to this research network, we hope that a lot of these companies start setting up operations and sending their teams to spend substantial amounts of time here," said South's Bend Chief Innovation Officer Santiago Garces. "There are also entrepreneurs and people within the community that start getting ideas of technologies or opportunities that they can leverage," he added.
The city and the university are asking the National Science Foundation to fund the project with a roughly $25-million grant.
"South Bend is the first place ever where control of a Wi-Fi-based drone was passed from one base station to another. That's actually pretty significant from a research perspective," South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said.
There are two base stations within the city right now, but researchers hope to have 25 base stations across the city someday. One of them is on top of the O'Brien Recreation Center.