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UAV communication challenges in current 4G and 5G networks


Abstract: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, are used in surveillance, monitoring, disaster relief, delivery, and other applications. The wireless connectivity among drones and with ground stations is crucial for control and data exchange. Cellular networks could potentially meet the stringent requirements of drone communication and networking. The issue is that today’s cellular networks are not designed for flying devices: various problems including but not limited to cell association, handover management, and interference mitigation need to be solved. This talk would shed lights on how connecting UAVs to cellular networks is dissimilar to connecting regular ground devices in order to capture the built-in technical challenges that drone-connected networks research has to deal with. At the same time, we will show motivating figures of connecting UAVs to and through cellular networks. We report and discuss throughput, interference and handover measurements for an aerial drone connected to LTE-Advanced and 5G networks in a suburban environment.

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