Mobility Support for Cellular Connected Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Performance and Analysis

04/12/2018
by   Sebastian Euler, et al.
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Beyond visual line-of-sight connectivity is key for use cases of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) such as package delivery, infrastructure inspection, and rescue missions. Cellular networks stand ready nationwide to support flying UAVs by providing wide-area, quality, and secure connectivity for UAV operations. Ensuring reliable connections in the presence of UAV movements is important for safety control and operations of UAVs. With increasing height above the ground, the radio environment changes. Using terrestrial cellular networks to provide connectivity to the UAVs moving in the sky may face new challenges. In this article, we share some of our findings in mobility support for cellular connected UAVs. We first identify how the radio environment changes with altitude and analyze the corresponding implications on mobility performance. We then present evaluation results to shed light on the mobility performance of cellular connected UAVs. We also discuss potential enhancements for improving mobility performance in the sky.

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