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Joint Energy and Performance Aware Relay Positioning in Flying Networks
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  • Hugo Rodrigues ,
  • André Coelho ,
  • Manuel Ricardo ,
  • Rui Campos
Hugo Rodrigues
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André Coelho
INESC TEC and Faculdade de Engenharia, INESC TEC and Faculdade de Engenharia

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Manuel Ricardo
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Rui Campos
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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have emerged as suitable platforms for transporting and positioning communications nodes on demand, including Wi-Fi Access Points and cellular Base Stations. This paved the way for the deployment of flying networks capable of temporarily providing wireless connectivity and reinforcing the coverage and capacity of existing networks anywhere, anytime. Several solutions have been proposed in the literature for the positioning of UAVs that act as Flying Access Points (FAPs). Yet, the positioning of Flying Communications Relays (FCRs) in charge of forwarding the traffic to/from the Internet has not received equal attention. A major challenge in flying networks is the UAVs endurance. Since the UAVs are typically powered by on-board batteries with limited capacity, whose energy is used for communications and propulsion, the UAVs need to land frequently for recharging or replacing their batteries, limiting the flying network availability. State of the art works are focused on optimizing both the flying network performance and the energy-efficiency from the communications point of view, but do not consider the energy spent for the UAV propulsion. Yet, the energy spent for communications is typically negligible when compared with the energy spent for the UAV propulsion.
In order to address the FCR UAV positioning and energy-efficiency challenges, we have proposed the Energy-aware RElay Positioning (EREP) algorithm. EREP defines the trajectory and speed of the FCR UAV that minimize the energy spent for the UAV propulsion. However, since EREP considers a theoretical radio propagation model for computing the minimum Signal-to-Noise Radio (SNR) values that allow to meet the FAPs traffic demand, this may lead to network performance degradation in real-world networking scenarios, especially due to the FCR UAV movement. In this article, we propose the Energy and Performance Aware relay Positioning (EPAP) algorithm. Built upon the EREP algorithm, EPAP defines target performance-aware SNR values for the wireless links established between the FCR UAV and the FAPs and, based on that, computes the trajectory to be completed by the FCR UAV, so that the energy spent for the UAV propulsion is minimized. EPAP was evaluated in terms of both the flying network performance and the FCR UAV endurance, considering multiple networking scenarios. Simulation results show gains up to 25% in the FCR UAV endurance, while not compromising the Quality of Service offered by the flying network.
2022Published in IEEE Access volume 10 on pages 43848-43864. 10.1109/ACCESS.2022.3168695