Research on UAV-aided Wireless Mesh Networking for Remote NZ Communities complete
Ciara Arnot Community Advisor •
Dr Wanqing Tu has recently completed her research focused on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) - aided Wireless Mesh Networking (WMN).
WMNs are being tested around the world to help connect rural communities to the Internet, giving them access to the digital services that are becoming more prominent in daily life. The tools for WMNs are mounted on rooftops and have coverages that can expand to include communities of various sizes.
The main challenge here is that the New Zealand terrain can often be difficult – not just for people to navigate, but for wireless signals. This is where the UAVs play their role. Specific models of UAV with extended flying capability will be utilised to enhance the connectivity and data transmissions of ground WMNs. This is where Dr Wanqing’s research comes in.
The project team investigated the optimal allocation of WMN gateways or routers so that the number of required WMN gateways or routers could be minimised while keeping all end users covered. They found that hierarchical architecture presents a heuristic solution. Accordingly, a two-tier architecture was designed with the target of supporting several Gbps data rates.
Various simulations and experiments were conducted to investigate UAV reliability in supporting ground-air connections.
The team designed several algorithms to efficiently handle UAV movements so that energy-efficient and performance-guaranteed ground links could be formed. They compared two major routing algorithms for the purpose of delivering high-performance data in our network.
They explored how to schedule data flows so that the network would be able to implement energy and performance transmission adjustments in a self-healing and self-organising way.
This study showed that Network Calculus is a promising tool to develop a simple yet effective scheduling policy for network communication purposes.
In the final report, key lessons are explained in further detail including:
- ground architecture
- UAV connections
- efficient data delivery
The research team has been presenting results to an international audience through conferences and online seminars. They plan to visit local telecommunication companies and remote residences to share the outcomes with end users and ISPs.
The research has been published through the 2021 IEEE 18th Annual Consumer Communications & Networking Conference: A seamless and efficient transition algorithm for aerial drone multicasting.
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