Potential Data Link Candidates for Civilian Unmanned Aircraft Systems: A Survey

by   Maede Zolanvari, et al.

This survey studies the potential data link candidates for unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs). There has been tremendous growth in different applications of UAVs such as lifesaving and rescue missions, commercial use, recreations, etc. Unlike the traditional wireless communications, the data links for these systems do not have any general standardized framework yet to ensure safe co-existence of UAVs with other flying vehicles. This motivated us to provide a comprehensive survey of potential data link technologies available for UAVs. Our goal is to study the current trends and available candidates and carry out a comprehensive comparison among them. The contribution of this survey is to highlight the strength and weakness of the current data link options and their suitability to satisfy the UAVs communication requirements. Satellite links, cellular technologies, Wi-Fi and several similar wireless technologies are studied thoroughly in this paper. We also focus on several available promising standards that can be modified for these data links. Then, we discuss standard-related organizations that are working actively in the area of civilian unmanned systems. Finally, we bring up some future challenges in this area with several potential solutions to motivate further research work.



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