Drone delivery: Reliable Cellular UAV Communication Using Multi-Operator Diversity

11/15/2021
by   Achiel Colpaert, et al.
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The market size of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, a.k.a drones) can reach up to 10 most attractive applications. The growing number of drones requires appropriate traffic management systems that will rely on cellular networks. However, it has been shown in the literature that these networks cannot provide reliable communication due to low coverage probability and frequent handovers. This article presents a potential solution targeting these problems while requiring no modifications of the existing infrastructure. Namely, equipping the UAV with multiple cellular modems to connect to different providers' networks introduces network diversity resulting in 98 of 100 meters. In contrast, one network ensures only 80 time, the size of the outage zones becomes up to ten times smaller and the frequency of harmful handovers is reduced to zero. The results are obtained with a physical-layer simulator utilizing a real urban 3D environment, cellular network parameters (e.g., site locations, antenna orientation and gains), and specific aerial channel models.

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