Directional UAV swarming: a network perspective

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University of Alabama Libraries

In recent years, with the development of robotics and electronics technology, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are becoming smaller and cheaper. People started to use UAVs more and more frequently since they are easy to purchase and control. In this research, we would investigate a UAV swarming from a network perspective. Generally, multiple UAVs could form a swarming network. Each UAV serves as a network node. The links between UAVs are regarded as network data links. In Chapter 2, we will design a novel 2-layer MAC: We will design the upper MAC layer, which supports the synchronized, concurrent multi-beam transmission/receiving, as well as the lower MAC layer that is back compatible to 802.11 but fully explores the benefits of multi-beam antennas; We propose to adjust the parameters of the two MAC layers to support different mission priorities. In Chapter 3, we propose a throughput-optimal, heterogeneous (with both scheduled and random communications) medium access control (MAC) strategy for a typical airborne network. Our proposed MAC scheme allows the UAVs to use uplink/downlink MAC schemes to communicate with the aircrafts. Our simulation results have shown the significant performance improvement over conventional MAC protocols. In Chapter 4, we target the MAC design issues in the airborne network with the following features: (1) Long-distance Ku-band links. (2) Multi-beam antennas. (3) Full-duplex communications. Our MAC design has 3-ent properties, i.e., it is resilient, efficient, and intelligent. Particularly, it is resilient to jamming attacks through the encoding of traffic in each beam. And it achieves throughput-efficient communications through the integration of full duplex traffic control and multi-beam data forwarding. In Chapter 5, we propose a hardware test-bed for wireless mesh networks with multi-beam smart antennas with USRP-RIO. We tested the directionality of the antenna, implemented a full-duplex transmission system and a relay system. Furthermore, CPT and CPR which are the two important signature features of MBSA are realized by USRP.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Electrical engineering