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A survey of prototype and experiment for UAV communications

Abstract

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) communications have attracted significant attention from both academia and industry. To facilitate the large-scale usage of UAVs for various applications in practice, we provide a comprehensive survey on the prototype and experiment for UAV communications. To this end, we first provide an overview on the general architecture of the prototype and experiment for UAV communications, and then present experimental verification for air-to-ground channel models and UAV energy consumption models. Next, we discuss measurement experiments on two promising paradigms of UAV communications, namely cellular-connected UAVs and UAV-enabled aerial communication platforms. For the former, we focus on the feasibility study and address the interference mitigation issue. For UAV-enabled aerial communication platforms, we present three scenarios, namely UAV-enabled aerial base stations, UAV-enabled aerial relays and UAV-enabled aerial data collection/dissemination. Finally, we point out some promising future directions for prototype and experimental measurements of UAV communications.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported in part by National Science Foundation of China for Distinguished Young Scholars (Grant No. 61625106), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61921004, 61871137), Program for Innovative Talents and Entrepreneur in Jiangsu (Grant No. 1104000402), Research Fund by Nanjing Government (Grant No. 1104000396), Open Research Fund of Double First-Class Initiative Applied Characteristic Discipline of Control Science and Engineering, Huaihua University (Grant No. ZNKPY2019-1), and Open Research Fund of National Mobile Communications Research Laboratory, Southeast University (Grant No. 2019D08).

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Correspondence to Yong Zeng.

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Song, Q., Zeng, Y., Xu, J. et al. A survey of prototype and experiment for UAV communications. Sci. China Inf. Sci. 64, 140301 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-020-3030-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-020-3030-2

Keywords

  • UAV communications
  • prototype development
  • channel model
  • energy efficiency
  • UAV-enabled communications platforms
  • cellular-connected UAVs