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Wireless Communications and Networking for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles by Walid Saad, Mehdi Bennis, Mohammad Mozaffari, and Xingqin Lin | PDF Free Download.
The past few years witnessed a major revolution in the area of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, due to significant technological advances across various drone-related fields ranging from embedded systems to autonomy, control, security, and communications.
These unprecedented recent advances in UAV technology have made it possible to widely deploy drones across a plethora of application domains, ranging from delivery of goods to surveillance, environmental monitoring, traffic control, remote sensing, and search and rescue.
In fact, recent reports from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) anticipate that sales of UAVs may exceed seven million in 2020, and many industries are currently investing in innovative drone-centric applications and research.
To enable all such applications, it is imperative to address a plethora of research challenges pertaining to drone systems, ranging from navigation to autonomy, control, sensing, navigation, and communications.
In particular, the deployment of UAVs in tomorrow’s smart cities is largely contingent upon equipping them with effective means for communications and networking.
To this end, in this book, we provide a comprehensive treatment of the wireless communications and networking research challenges and opportunities associated with UAV technology.
This treatment begins in this chapter, which provides an introduction to UAV technology and an in-depth discussion on the wireless communication and networking challenges associated with the introduction of UAVs.
A UAV is, in essence, an unmanned aircraft or robot that can fly in nearly unconstrained locations either autonomously or while being remotely controlled by an operator.
In the early twentieth century, UAV technology was mostly restricted to the military environment. For instance, many references [1–4] trace back the origin of drones to the nineteenth century when unmanned balloons were used to bomb the city of Venice in Italy.
Then, after some failed or unused UAV-like experiments (such as the US Army’s Kettering Bug ) in the early 1900s, military UAV technology started to improve and evolve during the Second World War and throughout the Cold War.
These early attempts at providing unmanned aircraft were mostly restricted to well-defined and very confined military missions, such as reconnaissance or combat surveillance.
Despite their restricted application space, these early developments in UAV technology provided an important foundation for the modern-day commercial drone revolution, which really started in the mid-2000s when new applications of UAVs, such as disaster relief, search and rescue,
and infrastructure inspection, began to take shape, driven by a number of governments. Meanwhile, the first commercial UAV permit was issued in 2006.
Following this event, the French company Parrot produced their Parrot AR Drone in 2010, which was arguably one of the first UAVs ready to be operated by end-users using a WiFi connection and a smartphone.
The Parrot AR Drone was an important first step toward popularizing the idea of consumer-operated drones that can be employed for recreational as well as commercial purposes.
However, the true catalyzer for the UAV technology was Jeff Bezos’ 2013 announcement about his intentions to deploy a UAV-based delivery system for Amazon.
This announcement was also followed by similar ideas from other major companies such as Google, who debuted their drone-delivery Wing project in 2014.
Since then, the interest and investment in UAV technology for commercial applications began an exponential growth both in terms of applications and technology.
Most recently, UAVs have become inherently equipped with important communications, computer vision, and machine learning techniques that turned them into truly autonomous and multipurpose devices.
This, in turn, led to a surge of new startups, research, and standardization efforts focused on the multifaceted technological and social challenges of UVA technology. These research efforts are rapidly culminating in major breakthroughs across multiple application domains.
It is, therefore, inevitable to envision that the next five years or so will witness some of the first real-world deployments of drones across various sectors in the global economy.
Such deployments will range from the initial introduction of drone-delivery systems in the near term to the wide-scale deployment of UAV-based autonomous, flying taxis in the long term.
These rapid recent developments in UAV technology have naturally led to many research problems that cut across multiple fields, including navigation, control, machine learning, and communications.
In particular, the ability of UAVs to fly in nearly unconstrained locations, coupled with their flexibility and agility, makes them particularly appealing for wireless communications applications.
Indeed, communications and networking provide one of the most important emerging applications for UAVs; thus, it is essential to investigate the challenges and opportunities brought forward by UAVs in this domain.
The wireless communications and networking applications and challenges of UAVs naturally depend on the type of UAV and associated government regulations.
As a result, next, we first provide a classification of UAVs depending on their types and then delve into the wireless communications and networking challenges and opportunities.
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