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Researchers propose a drone operation scheme for 5G networks

5G Networks
©_Goh Rhy Yan | Unsplash

[TPU]Researchers of Tomsk Polytechnic University together with the colleagues from Qatar University, and the Texas A&M University at Qatar have developed a scheme for energy and data transfer to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), providing the efficient use of drones in 5G networks.

The international project Self-Energised UAV-assisted Communications for 5G Wireless Networks is headed by Dr. Dushanta Nalin Jayakody, Professor of the TPU Research Center for Automation and Information Technology. According to Prof. Jayakody, one of the key issues in telecommunications and new generation networks is energy efficiency. The research team considers an option to use drones to provide wireless communications. In particular, they have developed an algorithm to optimize the UAV trajectory profile that provides the energy harvesting and information transfer over long distances.

“Due to the limited power supply, the performance and efficiency of the system is affected directly. For this reason, UAV energy management should be optimized to prevent the reducing in flight duration. The conventional energy harvesting mechanisms such as solar, wind energy may lead to significant increases in overall UAV’s weight due to the additionally introduced hardware,” the scientists explain.

5G Networks


The TPU team pushes forward the idea that comes up to unifying the energy management framework by resorting to wireless power transfer (WPT), simultaneous wireless information and power transfer (SWIPT) and self-interference energy harvesting (EH) schemes in cooperative relay communication in full-duplex mode. UAVs are used as a relay to assist and forward information to the mobile users in full-duplex (FD) mode. The radiofrequency EH mechanism provides a contemporary solution to the UAV’s energy constraint problem. The researchers increased energy efficiency and minimized the outage probability of the UAV by optimizing the UAV sensing and transmission power.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have recently been envisaged as an enabling technology of 5G and act as an intermediate relay node to facilitate uninterrupted, high-quality communication between information sources and their destination. Full Duplex communication efficiency utilizes the spectrum resources while enhancing the overall system throughput as compared to half-duplex (HD). We use the FD in the proposed UAV-assisted cooperative communication scheme to improve the overall system performance,” Dr. Nalin Jayakody says.

Tarindu Perera, a member of the project team and research engineer of the TPU Division for Information Technology, adds that the cooperative communication between two remote movable nodes is a new promising area enabled by the Internet of Things. UAVs and aerial base stations (ABSs) have recently received a lot of attention of engineers and researchers due to the high data rate demands of mobile users. ABSs are highly useful for serving flash crowds, where a large group of people demands high data rates.

“Furthermore, low cost, deployment flexibility and high mobility are the advantages UAVs offer over terrestrial wireless communication infrastructure. These advantages encourage deployment of UAVs in wireless communication to provide reliable support for practical applications, such as disaster management, public safety, rescue and military operations etc.,” the young scientist highlights.

The research project was supported by the SPARC Foundation, the Ministry of Human Resources, India, the Qatar National Research Foundation, and the TPU Competitiveness Enhancement Program.