An Experimental Analysis on Drone-Mounted Access Points for Improved Latency-Reliability

06/30/2021
by   Igor Donevski, et al.
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The anticipated densification of contemporary communications infrastructure expects the use of drone small cells (DSCs). Thus, we experimentally evaluate the capability of providing local and personalized coverage with a drone mounted Wi-Fi access point that uses the nearby LTE infrastructure as a backhaul in areas with mixed line of sight(LoS) and Non-LoS (NLoS) links to the local cellular infrastructure. To assess the potential of DSCs for reliable and low latency communication of outdoor users, we measure the channel quality and the total round trip latency of the system. For a drone following the ground user, the DSC-provided network extends the coverage for an extra 6.4 compared to the classical LTE-direct link. Moreover, the DSC setup provides latencies that are consistently smaller than 50 msfor 95 Within the coverage of the LTE-direct connection, we observed a latency ceiling of 120ms for 95 observed for the DSC system was 1200ms, while the LTE-direct link never exceeded 500 ms. As such, DSC setups are not only essential in NLoS situations, but consistently improve the latency of users in outdoor scenarios.

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