Self-configuring ad-hoc networks for unmanned aerial systems
Christmann, Hans Claus
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Currently there is ongoing research in the field of Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANET) for several different scenarios. Research has focused on topology related challenges such as routing mechanisms or addressing systems, as well as security issues like traceability of radio communication or encryption. In addition, there are very specific research interests such as the effects of directional antennas for MANETs or optimized transmission techniques for minimal power consumption or range optimization. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in general, need wireless systems in order to communicate. Current UAS are very flexible and allow for a wide spectrum of mission profiles by means of utilizing different UAVs, according to the requirements at hand. Each mission poses special needs and requirements on the internal and external UAS communication and special mission scenarios calling for UAV swarms increase the complexity and require specialized communication solutions. UAS have specific needs not provided by the general research, but are, on the other hand, to diversified to make much use of narrowly focused developments; UAS form a sufficiently large research area for application of MANETs to be considered as an independent group with specialized needs worthy of tailored implementations of MANET principles. MANET research has not tackled a general approach to UAS although some sources show specific applications involving UAVS. This work presents some new aspects for the development of of ad-hoc wireless networks for UAVs and UAS and focuses on their specialties and needs. A general framework for MANET development is proposed. Furthermore, the proposed specific evaluation scenarios provide for a UAS focused comparison of MANET performance.