8Connected Aerials

Feng Xue, Shu‐ping Yeh, Jingwen Bai, and Shilpa Talwar

Intel Corporation, Santa Clara, CA, USA


To operate drones safely and to accomplish various missions, wireless technology is a critical component in control and command. This chapter discusses basic requirements and challenges for supporting drones over a cellular network. It provides a quick summary of drone regulations, which serves as a good indication of challenges in supporting drones and innovation in communications. The chapter reviews 3GPP Release 15 drone study and WIs   the first on drones in 3GPP. It provides a 5G drone support deep dive discussing challenges in supporting various drone uses, solutions from new technologies in 5G, and new studies needed for further 5G innovation toward future drone usages. Many drone applications, such as surveying, require 3D positioning support. Since cellular networks have always focused on serving terrestrial users and mostly use down-tilted base station antennas, aerial coverage and link qualities need to be carefully studied and optimized for drone support.

Keywordsaerial communication; aerial coverage; cellular network; drone regulations; drone usages; terrestrial users

8.1 Introduction

In recent years, aerial vehicles (AVs) such as UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones) have experienced exponential growth, and many innovative usage scenarios are being considered. For example, drones can be used for surveying, search and rescue, ...

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