Software Radios for Unmanned Aerial Systems

by   Keith Powell, et al.

As new use cases are emerging for unmanned aerial systems (UAS), advanced wireless communications technologies and systems need to be implemented and widely tested. This requires a flexible platform for development, deployment, testing and demonstration of wireless systems with ground and aerial nodes, enabling effective 3D mobile communications and networking. In this paper, we provide a comparative overview of software-defined radios (SDRs), with a specific focus on SDR hardware and software that can be used for aerial wireless experimentation and research. We discuss SDR hardware requirements, features of available SDR hardware that can be suitable for small UAS, and power measurements carried out with a subset of these SDR hardware. We also present SDR software requirements, available open-source SDR software, and calibration/benchmarking of SDR software. As a case study, we present AERPAW: Aerial Experimentation and Research Platform for Advanced Wireless, and discuss various different experiments that can be supported in that platform using SDRs, for verification/testing of future wireless innovations, protocols, and technologies.



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