Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Wireless Sensor Networks: Automated Sensor Deployment and Mobile Sink Nodes

  • Juan Marchal GomezEmail author
  • Thomas Wiedemann
  • Dmitriy Shutin
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 867)


This paper describes the design and implementation of a heterogeneous multi-agent system consisting of a wireless sensor network and a mobile agent (UAV) for automatic network deployment and data collection beyond the communication range of individual sensors in the network. A UAV is able to transport and release sensors at specific locations that might be dangerous or inaccessible to humans. The network can be deployed fast when manual placement is a risk. The measured data is likewise automatically collected by a UAV following an optimal route obtained by solving the Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) that covers all sensor locations. Since the route of the UAV is pre-planned, sensor nodes are able to turn on the radio interface exactly when the UAV is close by and thus save energy. More precisely, the power consumption of the sensor node is improved in two ways: (i) multihop routing is not required, which saves battery life in sensors, and (ii) the transmission power can be reduced because the UAV is able to go near the sensor. The whole system was tested in an outdoor experiment showing promising results.


Wireless Sensor Network Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Power efficiency 


  1. 1.
    Abdelhakim, M., Liang, Y., Li, T.: Mobile access coordinated wireless sensor networks - design and analysis. IEEE Trans. Signal Inf. Process. Netw. 3(1), 172–186 (2017)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Akyildiz, I.F., Su, W., Sankarasubramaniam, Y., Cayirci, E.: A survey on sensor networks. IEEE Commun. Mag. 40(8), 102–105 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Anagnostopoulos, T., Zaslavsky, A., Kolomvatsos, K., Medvedev, A., Amirian, P., Morley, J., Hadjieftymiades, S.: Challenges and opportunities of waste management in IoT-enabled smart cities: a survey. IEEE Trans. Sustain. Comput. 2(3), 275–289 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cao-hoang, T., Duy, C.N.: Environment monitoring system for agricultural application based on wireless sensor network. In: 2017 Seventh International Conference on Information Science and Technology (ICIST), pp. 99–102, April 2017Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chen, C., Jun-ming, X., Hui-fang, G.: Polluted water monitoring based on wireless sensor. In: 2011 International Conference on Electronics, Communications and Control (ICECC), pp. 961–963, September 2011Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gea, T., Paradells, J., Lamarca, M., Roldn, D.: Smart cities as an application of internet of things: experiences and lessons learnt in Barcelona. In: 2013 Seventh International Conference on Innovative Mobile and Internet Services in Ubiquitous Computing, pp. 552–557, July 2013Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lin, C., Choy, K., Ho, G., Chung, S., Lam, H.: Survey of green vehicle routing problem: past and future trends. Expert Syst. Appl. 41(4), 1118–1138 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mergen, G., Zhao, Q., Tong, L.: Sensor networks with mobile access: energy and capacity considerations. IEEE Trans. Commun. 54(11), 2033–2044 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ojha, T., Misra, S., Raghuwanshi, N.S.: Wireless sensor networks for agriculture: the state-of-the-art in practice and future challenges. Comput. Electron. Agric. 118(Suppl C), 66–84 (2015). Scholar
  10. 10.
    Polo, J., Hornero, G., Duijneveld, C., Garca, A., Casas, O.: Design of a low-cost wireless sensor network with UAV mobile node for agricultural applications. Comput. Electron. Agric. 119(Suppl C), 19–32 (2015). Scholar
  11. 11.
    Tong, L., Zhao, Q., Adireddy, S.: Sensor networks with mobile agents. In: IEEE Military Communications Conference 2003, MILCOM 2003, vol. 1, pp. 688–693, October 2003Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Toth, P., Vigo, D.: The Vehicle Routing Problem. SIAM, Philadelphia (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Marchal Gomez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Wiedemann
    • 1
  • Dmitriy Shutin
    • 1
  1. 1.German Aerospace Center (DLR)Institute of Communication and NavigationOberpfaffenhofenGermany

Personalised recommendations