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Suitability of LTE for Drone-to-Infrastructure Communications in Very Low Level Airspace

Schalk, Lukas Marcel and Herrmann, Martin (2017) Suitability of LTE for Drone-to-Infrastructure Communications in Very Low Level Airspace. In: 36th IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference. 36th IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference, 17.-21. September 2017, St. Petersburg, FL, USA.

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Abstract

The increasing availability of cheap and powerful drones for various applications is likely to cause a heavy usage of the very low level airspace in metropolitan areas with up to 500 simultaneously airborne drones per square kilometer in the near future. Certainly, the predicted large number of drones presents a major challenge to future UTM and especially to supporting communications systems. A robust and reliable communications system for drone-to-infrastructure communications is inevitably needed to grant all drones access to various services provided by UTM. In previous works, it has already been shown that LTE is capable of providing connectivity to drones flying at low altitudes in principle. However, airborne drones which transmit data to UTM produce severe inter-cell interference since they have a strong line-of-sight connection to multiple LTE base stations. Hence, we investigate further the suitability of the LTE uplink for drone-to-infrastructure communications in very low level airspace by system-level simulations in this work. In particular, the maximum drone density that can be thoroughly monitored and safely coordinated by a UTM system with LTE communication links is identified. Our simulations show that LTE is not suitable for high-density scenarios due to the severe uplink interference. It is concluded that future research has to focus on the mitigation of inter-cell interference so even a large number of drones can get reliable access to all UTM services.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/116203/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Suitability of LTE for Drone-to-Infrastructure Communications in Very Low Level Airspace
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Schalk, Lukas MarcelLukas.Schalk (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Herrmann, MartinUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:2017
Journal or Publication Title:36th IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:drones, UTM, LTE, uplink, MATLAB
Event Title:36th IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference
Event Location:St. Petersburg, FL, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:17.-21. September 2017
Organizer:IEEE/AIAA
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:air traffic management and operations
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AO - Air Traffic Management and Operation
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Communication and Navigation > Communications Systems
Deposited By: Schalk, Lukas Marcel
Deposited On:28 Nov 2017 13:57
Last Modified:09 Feb 2018 18:43

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